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Full text of "Elise : a story of the Civil War"

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THE UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

LIBRARY 




THE WILMER COLLECTION 

OF CIVIL WAR NOVELS 

PRESENTED BY 

RICHARD H. WILMER, JR. 



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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 



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ELISE: 



A STORY OF THE CIVIL WAR. 



BY S. M. M. X. 



1896: 
ANGEL Guardian Press. 

BOSTON. 



Copyrighted, 1S95, 

BV THE 

Brothers of Charity, 

85 Vernon Stkeht, 
Boston, Mass. 



CONTENTS. 



I, 


Regai.ia 


II. 


The Cave 


III. 


CoXIlDENCE 


IV. 


Relics 


\'. 


Father Lawrence 


VI. 


The Bayou , 


VII. 


Death 


VIII. 


Resurrection 


IX. 


Lucille 


X. 


The Jesuit 


XI. 


The Sailor 


XII. 


Missions 


XIII. 


A Fallen Star 


XIV. 


The Confederates 


XV. 


Maum Rosa 


XVI. 


Miss Jones 


XVII. 


A Lost Sheep . 


XVIII. 


The Hospital 


XIX. 


The Artist 


XX. 


Papa, at Last 


XXL 


A Miracle 


XXII. 


X'eglected Gardens 


xxiii. 


Home . 



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204 

222 

231 

238 

246 

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WITH A GRATEFUI. HEART 



'Her cliildren sliall ri.se ui> and call lier 
blessed." 



PREFACE. 

A WAVE of misguided faith seems sweeping tlie 
world in these hitter days, at a time when all faith in 
the supernatural is apparently dying out. 

A half truth is always more dangerous than a whole 
lie. There is generally a grain of truth to be found in 
all heresies, which only makes them the more dreadful. 
Spiritualism, with its vulgar seances, table tipping and 
silly, empty messages from the unseen world, is not so 
dangerous a form of heresy as that which now holds 
the minds of many under the names of Psychology, 
Mind-reading, Soul-building, etc., etc. 

It is with this thought that we have tried to show by 
means of a simple child's story that our Holy Mother 
the Church can satisfy our needs and longings for com- 
munion with the unseen world around us, far better 
than any method of man's invention. 

That our Lord so bent Himself to the weakness of 
our human nature, as to do most of His teaching through 
stories ; and that there is a need of Catholic books for 
children, is one excuse for writing one. 

Mt. St. Mary's, 
Month of the Sacred Heart, 1S94. 




CHAPTER I. 



REGALIA. 

The Civil War had actual!}- begun. The entire 
country, from north to south, was in a ferment of ex- 
citement. Sumter had been fired upon. Four oi 
the states had actually joined the Confederacy. 
President Lincoln had issued a proclamation, calling 
for troops. There would be no longer any wavering ; 
all were called upon to make their choice between 
Union or Secession. 

Regalia was a large plantation, situated on the 
Mississippi River, about thirty miles north of New 
Orleans. It had been the property of the La Borde 
family for many generations. 

The last descendant of the family, however, was a 
daughter, Elise La Borde, and she had married M. 
Henri de la Roche, who was the present master of 
the property, thus the name of La Borde became 
extinct. It was a grand old place, and most beautiful 
it looked on this lovely evening in June, when our 
story commences. The family mansion stood at the 



lO ELISE. 

top of a long green lawn which sloped down in ter- 
races to the river. The house was of grey stone, with 
large square front, and wings on either side. It had 
a broad veranda running all around it which was 
used as a parlor whenever the weather permitted. 
At the front, facing the river, was a large circular 
driveway connected with the high road by an avenue 
shaded with large orange trees having overhanging 
branches fragrant with both flowers and fruit. The 
entire plantation was protected from the high road by 
a hedge of the^^sage orange, which formed a thick im- 
penetrable screen at least eight feet high. From 
the driveway in the front were stone steps leading 
down the terraces to the boat landing on the river. 
On the terraces were arranged groups of ornamental 
trees and shrubbery in such a manner as not to hide 
the view of the broad Mississippi from the veranda. 
On both sides of the house, and up to the high road 
behind the mansion, was the garden. Ah ! how can 
one find words to describe the beauty of a tropical 
garden. Its very fragrance made the veranda a 
place of too much luxury. Imagine an arbor com- 
pletely covered with stephanotis, with its great waxen 
clusters of flowers, clumps of bouvardias some 
twenty feet or more in height, rose trees laden down 
with clusters of buds and blossoms. In the centre 
of the garden was a large fountain which consisted 
of a group of bronze figures on a round base which 
rested on four large basins, one within the other, into 



ELISE. ir 

which the water was continually falling with a 
musical sound. The groups of shrubbery were so 
arranged that one constantly came suddenly upon 
surprises. Here a shrine to Our Blessed Lady, there 
one to St. Joseph — for the family were staunch 
Catholics from the beginning — beautiful masses of 
bloom completely hidden, until you came upon them 
unawares. Sufficient wildness was permitted to give 
a certain charm to the place, especially noticeable 
this year ; as, owing to the uncertainty of the times, it 
had been somewhat neglected. 

This entire property extended for about three 
miles along the river. The master, like his wife, was 
a descendant of one of the old French families of 
Louisiana. He was in great trouble and distress now, 
as he stood there on the veranda looking sadly at 
his young wife. She was kissing "Good Night" to her 
youngest boys, twins of only two years of age. The 
negroes had all left them, and the plantation lay idle. 

M. de la Roche was known as a firm Unionist, 
and strong anti-slavery man ; although by force 
of circumstances he was obliged to own slaves. 
He now knew, too well, that the South would be no 
longer a safe home for his family, and that it would 
be necessary to move North. The only persons 
who had not deserted them in the present trouble 
were the French governess, the old nurse, Marie, 
and a simple-hearted negro lad by the name of 
Jacques. 



12 ELISE. 

These had clung faithfully to the famil)' through all 
their troubles, but now even they must go. The 
master told them that deeply as he regretted it, he 
could not afford to take them North with him. 
He could only raise enough from the estate to 
carry his family, and when North, he must find 
work to support them, as he could no longer look 
for an income from his Southern property. This 
decision cost many tears on both sides. Marie 
scouted the idea of leaving her mistress, and re- 
fused to listen to any arguments. 

"Miss Elise git along widout me? Git along ! " and 
she turned her broad shoulders shaking with laughter 
at the bare idea. Just now she carried off the babies 
for the night, and Madame turned to her husband. 

She was a tiny little woman, with a round, child- 
like form, and light brown wavy hair, done up in a 
simple knot at the back of her neck, while it escaped 
in short curls round her head. Her dress of light sea 
green organdie muslin, with white crepe illusion 
ruches at the neck and wrist, made one think, instinc- 
tively of the ocean, and fresh salt breezes. She 
was still a perfect child and under the dominion of and 
cared for by old Marie as much as any of her 
children, spoiled, petted, and selfish, as all spoiled 
children are, and wholh' unfit for the cares of wife 
and motherhood. The plantation was hers, as 
she, being an only child, succeeded to the family 
estate. 



ELISE. 13 

At the time of their marriage M. de la Roche 
had Hstened to the prayers of her old parents and had 
given up his own cherished plans to manage the 
estate, rather than separate them from their daughter. 
After her mother's death the entire care of the 
children fell upon Marie. As has before been said, 
Madame was among them a child herself. Now, 
when her husband tried to make her comprehend 
their present condition, he was only met with sobs 
and tears, and he could only console her like the 
children, by changing the subject. She had firm 
faith in his abilities, and a reliance that he would 
bring them through the storm, as he always had done 
heretofore. 

M. de la Roche had been educated North, at a 
Jesuit college, in New York. There he had learned 
to detest slavery, and when circumstances had, as it 
were, forced him into the position of a slave owner, 
he accepted it with the intention of striving with all 
his might to remedy the evil. He had watched the 
coming struggle with intense interest, and in spite of 
the reproaches of his own brothers and the entreaties 
of his wife, he had openly showed his colors as a 
staunch Unionist from the first. For this reason he 
was hated by his neighbors and now that war had 
been proclaimed, he well knew that it would be 
necessary to fly to the North for protection. He 
was a tall, dark, military looking man, straight back, 
and head well poised on his shoulders, dark hair, and 



14 ELISE. 

eyes with a sad, wistful expression. It deepened 
now, while he looked fondly on his wife, as she turned 
to him and spoke : 

"What is it, Henri, now ? You look so sad ; it seems 
to me you always look sad now-a-days. I'm sure I 
need cheering a little in all our troubles." 

"Yes, Elise, things are becoming worse hourly, 
the sooner we leave the better. Are you nearly 
ready?" 

"I'm sure I don't know," said Madame fretfully. 
"You know I leave all those things to Marie, and 
now she has to do all the work of the house. 
Mademoiselle has been packing and they leave me 
all the care of the children. I never saw such 
naughty, troublesome children before in my life. I 
told them I should tell you of them. This morning 
I brought them out here. I told Henri and 
Elise they must study their lessons while I amused 
the twins ; they began so well, that I got entirely 
absorbed in my book and forgot all about them. 
When I finally remembered them" and looked up to 
see what they were doing, not a child was to be seen. 
I went into the house to look, and smelt something 
burning. I ran up to the nursery ; when I opened 
the door I was met by a great blast of such hot air 
that I thought the house was on fire. I screamed 
and Mademoiselle ran to the rescue, and we went in. 
Such a sight, and oh ! such a smell. There was a 
roaring fire in the big sheet iron stove, on top of 



ELISE. 15 

which were four pairs of little shoes burned to a 
cinder, and smelling dreadfully. An ink bottle had 
been tipped over on the floor, and the water pitcher 
emptied on it in order to wash it up. The twins 
were dipping the bathing sponges in the ink and 
water, after which they scrubbed themselves and 
the furniture, with perfect impartiality. The two 
older ones had vanished entirely leaving this note on 
my desk." 

Madame was half laughing and half crying by this 
time, but the grave, careworn expression on her hus- 
band's face only deepened, as he read the following 
epistle : 
Dear Littel Marmy : 

We got our chews wetted and put them on the 
stuv to dry. Eye billed the fire all my loneself. 

Ure luvin son, 

Henri, 

"Marie was as cross as a bear, and wanted to put 
them in bed for punishment, and Mademoiselle was 
so horrified at the note that she wanted to make them 
write a composition, but I said we had trouble 
enough already, and I would not have them punished. 
But I am sure I don't know what I shall do with 
them ; you have no idea how mischievous they are. 
Last night the Lavalles called here, and you know 
how fastidious and refined they are? What should 
Henri do but shout from the top of the staircase to 
me in the parlor entertaining them : 



l6 ELISE. 

"Oh, little marmy ! little marni)- ! come up here 
quick, I've found a bug in my bed." 

"Mademoiselle went up at once and found a large 
June beetle there. 

"The Lavalles tried to laugh as if it were funny but 
I could see that they were utterly disgusted. You 
remember last Sunday when we were speaking of 
the music at High Mass and I said what a pity it 
was that Mr. Brown's voice was so prominent, and 
ofif the key, that it spoiled it all? Well, he called 
yesterday and, I think, was coming to offer his assis- 
tance if you needed it, but both children were on the. 
veranda, and the. moment he appeared they shout- 
ed : 

" 'Oh, Mr. Brown ! my mamma sa3's you spoil all 
the music at mass, you sing so awful.' 

"I ran out in dismay to stop them. He made 
the stififest kind of a bow and said : 'As you were 
not in, he would call again,' and his face was as 
red as red could be. I could only say : 

" 'Oh! oo ! oo!' in my disma}'-, and Henri said: 

" 'You did, mamma, you know you did.' 

"After he had gone I called them in and told 
them that they were making us so much trouble 
with their mischievous talk, that we should have to 
go away, and give up Regalia altogether, and the 
dear little things really got crying when they saw 
me cry, and clung around me promising all sorts 
of things " 



ELISE. 1/ 

Here she was interrupted by the pair in question, 
racing round the corner of the house, full tilt, 
followed more slowly by Jacques, who was grin- 
ning as usual. Elise, our heroine, was the older of 
the two, by two years. She was very like her 
father ; a tall, slender brunette, with long, black 
hair, in two heavy braids hanging down her back. 
With crimson cheeks, and flashing eyes, she dashed 
up the steps. Henri was of a much more studious 
and quiet nature. He stooped a little. His grey- 
blue eyes were dreamy and full of kindliness. He 
ran up the steps after his sister who began : 

"Oh papa ! Henri is an awful naughty boy. He 
built a fire right in the middle of the long barn 
floor." 

Elise whose guilty conscience made her feel that 
trouble was brewing, thought it wise to "take the 
initiative. 

"Well!" said Henri, slowly, "you see we were 
playing soldiers, and that was the camp fire. I 
didn't suppose it would do any harm. Jacques says 
soldiers always have a camp fire. I did not 
think it would burn the barn, papa, until 
Jacques ran in and put it out. Elise wanted to light 
it, and when I wouldn't let her, she bit me hard as 
ever she could." 

The father looked at Elise, who, conscious of 
having been dishonorable in the matter, blushed 
scarlet, but replied : 



l8 ELISE. 

"Oh ! oo ! oo ! papa, I did not, my mouth was 
open, and he ran right into it!" 

By this time Jacques was doubhng up with sup- 
pressed laughter, and Madame turned her back and 
looked intently into the house. The master looked 
very sadly at the pair and said : 

"That will do, children, you may go upstairs to 
Marie." 

The pair without another word, walked up the 
stairs much more subdued by the evident trouble of 
their father than the fear of punishment. 

"Well, Jacques !" said the master turning to him 
suddenly. 

"Please, massa, M. Gabriel sen' dis yer letter, and 
will come berry soon hisself, and massa — dey 

say, " here he stood embarrassed, first on one 

foot, and then on the other. 

"Well, speak out !" 

"Dey all say Mosby and his boys are comin', 
and we'd better skip." 

The poor boy grew pale with terror, and glanced 
over his shoulders, as if already he was in the 
clutches of the enemy. 

"Massa," said the boy hesitatingly, "dere is a cave 
ober dere on de hill, where we kin hide." 

"A cave!" said the master. "What cave? how 
is it I have never heard of it before?" 

Jacques hung his head in silence. The fact was 
that in the extremity of the moment, he had re- 



ELISE. 19 

vealed a secret hiding place of the runaway slav^es. 
M. de la Roche little knew that on his estate there 
was a large cave well provisioned and furnished 
with all that was needful for a siege, and that it had 
been a favorite rendezvous of the negroes for many 
years past. Seeing, however, the embarrassment 
of the boy, he said kindly : 

"Never mind, my boy; I think we are not quite 
driven to that extremity as yet, but you may get 
out the cart and carry the trunks. Mademoiselle 
will show you down to the boat landing. You had 
better go with us down to New Orleans, and I will 
find a home for you somewhere." 

"Thanks, massa," said Jacques with a very un- 
happy face, touching his apology for a hat, and the 
master went into the house with his letter. 

While he was reading this, let us follow the older 
children upstairs to the nursery. It was evident 
that better discipline prevailed here, for they entered 
softly, and were quite obedient to the directions of 
old Marie, as she prepared them for the night. 
Henri knelt for a long prayer, in which he audibly, 
and carefully brought in all the relatives on both 
sides of the family. Elise stood by the window 
looking out rather soberly, but in deep thought, not 
seeing anything. At last she drew from her bosom a 
gold medal suspended from a slender chain around 
her neck. She gazed lovingly at it, with her eyes 
full of tears, and then kissed it fondly. 



20 ELISE. 

"Mother Mary," she murmured softly, "I was 
mean and naughty to accuse my little brother and 
papa was ashamed of me. Sweet Mother, pray for 
your child that she may never do anything to make 
papa ashamed again." 

Here her attention was called to her brother's 
delinquencies, and she exclaimed, as he rose from his 
knees : 

"There, Henri de la Roche, }'0u never said : 'God 
bless Aunt Marguerite !' " 

" Oh, well ! " said Henri stoutly, " I'm going ta 
write to her." 

" Be quiet, children," said Marie, and soon they 
were lost in the quiet, peaceful sleep of childhood. 

Shortly afterward, the master of the house entered 
the nursery. He went to the beds of the little 
sleepers and gazed on them tenderly, but oh ! so 
mournfully. How sweetly and tranquilly they slept : 
little they dreamed that this was the last night of 
their happy family life. Little even does their father 
know of the cross to which they are going or how 
could he bear it. Let us thank God for mercifully 
screening the future from us. "We are always 
traveling toward a cross." 

" Well, Marie," said the master after a moment of 
silence, "we must leave to-night; are you ready?" 

"Let us bress de Lord, massa ! I'se alius ready; 
but jus' wait a bit and de whole ting will blow ober." 

"No, old Marie, there is no hope of that, and no 



ELISE. 21 

time to be lost. I wish we had left yesterday; but 
do not let your mistress know that I am anxious. 
I will let you know when the steamer comes in 
sight. Then you n^ay dress the children, and bring 
them down to the landing. Mademoiselle will look 
after Henri and Elise, and I know you will take the 
best care of your babies. We can trust you fully, 
and I don't know what we shall do without you. 
When we get to New Orleans, you will find }-our 
sister." 

"Bress your heart, massa ! I don't want no sister; 
ef you and Miss Elise goes North, old Marie goes too, 
sure enuf, but I tinks it's all foolin' atter all." 

"Well, Marie, God grant you may prove right, 
and if we come back to our own again, we shall 
claim you as one of the family." 

"To be shore, massa," said the old woman curtesy- 
ing respectfully, and then turned busily to her work. 

All through the night they toiled, packing and 
sending off necessary articles, hiding others, till they 
should return again when the war should be ov^er. 

The estate under the present regime was almost 
■worthless. M. de la Roche was indeed poor and 
destitute, with wife and little ones dependent on him, 
yet he was in peace, for he had learned to say with 
St. Ignatius: 

"Give me Thy grace and Thy love, I desire nothing 
more." 



CHAPTER II. 



THE CAVE. 



In the gray light of the early dawn, before the sun 
was fairly up, the family were assembled at the 
riverside. The broad river was wrapped in an un- 
comfortable mist which, however, was beginning to 
lift. The steamer lay puffing and blowing, in the 
middle of the bay, formed by a curve of the river, 
on which Regalia lay and was dimly visible. The 
little group of passengers seemed to feel the chill, 
and that nameless discomfort which attacks our sen- 
sitive bodies at that dull, grey morning hour. At 
least to the older ones it added another shade of dis- 
comfort to their downcast hearts. But the children 
— God bless them, nothing saddens them — they 
were capering with delight at the thought of a 
journey. Out in the river the steamer lay waiting 
for passengers as was the way of Southern steamers 
and cars in those days ; stopping to take up freight, 
and passengers, wherever, and at whatever time they 
found them. A large flat-bottomed lighter was al- 
ready unloading baggage to the hold of the steamer,. 



ELISE. 25 

while a boat of lighter build, manned by four sailors 
and an officer, was waiting at the boat-landing for 
passengers. 

M. de la Roche helped his wife who, as she step- 
ped in, instinctively grasped Henri's arm. The boy, 
young as he was, put his arm around, as if 
to protect her, and stepped proudly into the boat 
with her, then came old Marie with the two babies. 
The officer then said it was enough and that he would 
return for the rest. M. de la Roche decided to wait 
and be the last to leave. At this decision, his wife 
shrieked convulsively, and demanded to be put 
ashore. 

"Better come now, sir," said the officer impatiently, 
and the master telling Mademoiselle he would be 
back for them directly, stepped into the boat, and 
they were off. 

Elise was not very well pleased at this, but she res- 
olutely put back the rising complaint, and forced a 
bright smile for her beloved father as he looked 
back anxiously at her. How little did they dream of 
the weary length oftime before their eyes would 
meet again. 

Hardly had the boat reached half the distance be- 
tween the landing and the steamer, when shouts were 
heard, and M. de la Roche, turning his head, was 
frozen with horror, to see a band of mounted 
guerillas riding down to the boat-house, aiming 
their rifles at the boat as they rode. 



24 ELISE. 

Mademoiselle, Elise and Jacques were standing a 
little to one side of the landing, under the shelter of 
an old willow, and were not seen by the guerillas. 

"Hi, Marm'selle ! " said Jacques in a hoarse whisper, 
""Run! run for your life!" 

He caught Elise by the wrist, and. Mademoi- 
selle catching the other, they ran along the bank of 
the river, shaded from view by the friendly 
embankment, and willows. As to those on the 
boat, the sailors rowed them quickly around the 
steamer, and regardless ot the entreaties of the dis- 
tracted father, hauled their passengers and the boat 
quickly on board, and then steamed off down the 
river, leaving the poor fugitives behind. They were 
not discovered by the guerillas, who thought all the 
family were on board the steamer, and after they had 
fired a few shots after the retreating boat, turned to 
pillage and burn the fair mansion which had been the 
pride and glory of the country for nearly a century. 

In the meantime Mademoiselle and Jacques ran 
quickly along the shore of the river, dragging and 
pulling poor little Elise between them. The child, 
wholly unable to comprehend what had happened, 
tried to pull herself away and finally began to 
scream indignantly. 

"Hush ! hush ! lile Missy," hissed Jacques, "dem 
bad men will cotch us." 

"For the love of God, Elise, be quiet I " gasped 
the terrified governess. 



ELISE. 25 

Awed and silenced by the terror of her companions 
EHse submitted. They ran quickly along the shore 
until they came to a little stream which emptied it- 
self into the river from the hills ; then they turned 
and followed up the brook. This little stream flowed 
down through a deep gorge between the hills and the 
gorge was so narrow that their only path was the 
bed of the brook. Up this they fled, jumping from 
one stone to another, the rocky sides of the gorge 
rising to the height of twenty or thirty feet. 

The stones in the bed of the brook were covered 
with moss, and ver}' slippery, and our poor refugees 
stumbled, slipped and staggered on, until finally 
poor little Elise fell flat in the stream. Jacques soon 
had her out again, and Mademoiselle again taking 
her other hand, they scrambled together up the gorge 
until they arrived breathless and panting at the top. 
Here they found a natural basin worn out of the 
rock by a waterfall of some twelve feet in height. 
This had always been a favorite resort of the family, 
and a more beautiful spot could hardly be imagined. 
The rocky sides, rising almost perpendicularly around 
it, were covered by wild roses and other creeping 
vines. M. de la Roche had delighted in laying it 
out as a grotto of our "Lady of Lourdes." Without 
disturbing the natural beauty of the place, rustic seats 
had been built about the basin, and on a projection 
of the rock in the centre of the falls was a lifelike 
statue of the Blessed Mother, with the falling water 



26 ELISE. 

behind it, like a fine lace drapery. The bottom of 
the basin was paved with many colored stones. The 
silence, the coolness, and the music of the water 
falling into the basin were most grateful to the poor 
panting refugees. But there were also other resources 
in the place, quite unknown to the family, yet quite 
well known to the negroes of the various plantations 
around the country. Jacques hesitated a moment 
before revealing the secret, but a distant shout and 
cracking of the bushes decided him. Catching up 
Elise in his arms he said in a hoarse whisper: 

"Follow me, Marm'selle, and do just what I 
do." 

He then sprang up on the ledge of the rock, close 
to the fall, and catching hold of a projecting root 
with one hand, and holding Elise tightly in his other 
arm, he deliberately swung himself with Elise on 
his arm right through the falls and out of sight, 
Mademoiselle was struck dumb with amazement. 
She knew not what to do, but her charge had dis 
appeared, and she must try to follow at any cost. 
The distant shouts now sounding nearer, nerved her 
to the trial, and she followed Jacques' example. 
There was the stunning blow of the water taking 
away all her breath for an instant, and then she 
found herself standing on a dark \\et platform of rock 
under one side of the fall, which fell like a curtain 
behind her. Jacques stood beside her still holding 
poor h^lise. The child seemed only lialf conscious 



ELISE. 27 

now, and her little head lay on Jacques' shoulder. 
She was moaning faintly, stunned from the fright, 
exhaustion, and water. Jacques laid her in Made- 
moiselle's arms and placed his shoulder against a little 
door in the rock formed by upright logs. It swung 
back, and with a sigh of relief he went through, 
followed by Mademoiselle, supporting Elise. 

Mademoiselle uttered an exclamation of astonish- 
ment at the sight before her, but the child as she re- 
gained her consciousness began to scream violentl}% 
to the alarm of Mademoiselle and Jacques, who 
feared she would discover their hiding place to the 
guerillas. 

"Papa I papa I" she screamed, "I want my papa. 
How dare you take me from him, and bring me up 
to this dreadful place?" 

Mademoiselle in vain tried to reason with her ; she 
threw herself on the floor of the cave in which they 
now found themselves, and only screamed the louder. 
At last Mademoiselle kneeling at her side, drew 
from her dress a crucifix and pressed it to the child's 
lips. The effect was instantaneous, Elise immediate- 
ly became quiet and only clung to Mademoiselle 
trembling all over with cold and excitement. 

" Oh, why are we here?" she exclaimed, "why 
did we not go with the others ?" 

Mademoiselle drew her down on an old log and 
explained to her why they had to run away, and bade 
her listen to the shouts of the wicked men, who, if 



28 ELISE. 

they had caught her, would have carried her away 
from her papa forever, and that now the only way by 
which she could hope to rejoin him, was by quiet- 
ness and obedience. 

"Oh, no ! Oh, no !" sobbed the poor child, "I 
cannot stay here, I am afraid ; indeed, indeed, I 
can't," and as she looked around her, her teeth 
chattered together and she shook from head to foot. 

" 'They wandered in deserts and caves of the earth, 
of whom the world was not worthy,'" said the gover- 
ness impressiv^ely. Weeping silently, Elise clung to 
her. " Do you remember, dear, our last catechism 
lesson when, as we were talking of the saints, you 
said you would like to suffer something for God? 
See I He has heard your prayer. He has given you 
the chance, and at the same time provided you with 
a safe shelter from the wicked." 

"I forgot that," murmured Elise. "I will be good, 
indeed I will." 

In the meantime, dear reader, we have nearly 
forgotten to tell you what kind of- a place it was, in 
w'hich our fugitives had found a refuge. It was a large 
ca\'e in a hill which overlooked the plantation. The 
side of the hill looking towards the mansion formed 
a precipice, which was covered with undergrowth 
and vines and this made one side of the cave. 

The entrance under the fall was planned by the 
negroes and had entirely escaped the observation of 
the whites, but it had been a safe refuge for the run- 



ELISE. 29 

away slaves, and general rendezvous for the negroes 
for many generations. In the side toward the preci- 
pice were many large fissures, which acted as 
windows to the cave, letting in air and light. They 
were screened from observation from the outside by 
vines and shrubs. The floor of the cave was of pure 
white sand. A fireplace, -partly natural, and partly 
contrived by the negroes, was at one end, and while 
Mademoiselle was trying to quiet Elise, Jacques had 
busied himself in lighting a roaring fire. Over their 
heads were poles placed across the roof of the cave 
and on these were hung some ham, bacon, and dried 
fruit. There were also some soldier's blankets thrown 
carelessly in a corner. A wooden box, whose lid was 
hung on leather hinges, formed a cupboard which 
contained coffee, sugar, and other sundries. Some 
attempts at rough seats and tables showed that it had 
been lately occupied. 

Jacques fastened up a blanket across a corner by 
the fire as a screen, and Mademoiselle with a "Deo 
Gratias" drew the little girl behind it, took off her wet 
clothing, and then wrapped her in a dry woolen 
blanket. She made a little mouth of disgust at this 
but was so thoroughly chilled as to be glad of its 
grateful warmth. Jacques soon had some hot coffee, 
which, with some pilot bread and fried, bacon formed 
a substantial breakfast, which they greatly needed. 
Jacques carried his to the side of the cave where he 
could look down through the fissures on the mansion 



30 p:lise. 

as he ate, and when he had finished, he came back, 
and stood gazing into the fire in a desponding 
attitude, with his hands in his pockets. 

"I dunno what wese gwine to do," said he to 
Mademoiselle. "Dem villyans is boun' to stay while 
dere is anything at all lef to eat, and Massa bees 
waitin' for us and we cawn't stay here forebber ; now 
kin we?" 

"We cannot stay here long, surel}'," said Madem- 
oiselle, "and M.dela Roche must be terribly anxious. 
Don't you think we could steal out after dark and in 
some way get to New Orleans?" 

"Dere's de small boat if dem villyans doesn't take 
her," said Jacques. "Wese could row down to 
N'Orleans in a couple ob days I reckon," said Jacques 
looking very wise and important. 

"Well, Jacques, I must think a little first," said the 
governess. 

Mademoiselle had been but a few months in the 
family, she knew none of the people on the neighbor- 
ing plantations, and had had but little experience of 
life. Too much novel reading had made her ro- 
mantic and unpractical. The thought that she could 
take refuge in the neighboring plantations did not 
seem to occur to her although the South is justly 
celebrated for its hospitality, and the weaker sex 
sure of protection amongst her chivalrous sons. 
The plan she afterwards suggested to Jacques had the 
attraction of romance, and really seemed to her the 



ELISE. 31 

wisest, and the onl}- plan, in fact, which seemed to 
her practicable. She told the children that they 
would disguise themselves as negroes, and in the 
early morning while the soldiers were' sleeping, 
they would steal out, take the small boat and start 
dow'n the river for New Orleans after their friends. 
"Perhaps," she said, "we shall meet them returning 
for us." 

The children were delighted. The idea of the 
masquerade, and that of going down the river to- 
gether on an unknown voyage of exploration as it 
were, made them forget all their troubles, and put 
them in the highest of spirits. Jacques assisted the 
governess in spreading and drying the wet clothes 
before the fire, and also kept up a roaring fire in the 
fireplace, for the cave was rather damp and chilly. 
Elise, who was wrapped like a mummy in her 
blanket, kept him in a perpetual giggle, wnth her 
bright, quick ways and speeches. 

"Oh Jacques !'•' she said, "Isn't it just like a story, 
real adventures you knows like our books. If Henri 
had onh' stayed too. I wonder what he did when 
the}' fired those guns ; the poor little marmie must 
have been nearly frightened to death. And old 
Marie, imagine how she must have scolded, and 
then she would be so sorry to leave us behind." 

She was silent at the thought of the father's 
anxiety, and looked forward with loving impatience 
to clasping her arms round his neck, and bringing 



32 ELISE. 

the light to his eyes once more. The rest of the 
day was spent in trying to restore their traveling 
dress to respectability, in making the finest dinner 
that the circumstances afforded, and in exploring 
the mysteries of the cave. As it became dark. 
Mademoiselle insisted on her pupil retiring to rest as 
usual. Elise consented very reluctantly, and was 
soon in a sound sleep on a heap of pine boughs, 
covered with a blanket. 

"Now, Marm'selle," said Jacques in an excited 
whisper, when he saw Elise was fairly off. "Mammy 
Thomson won't gib nottin' t'all to me unless youse 
goes wid me, and den we git de does, and start fust 
ting in de mawnin'." 

Mademoiselle consented with a sinking heart, she 
saw no other way. The way Jacques led her out, 
was different from the one by which they entered. 
It led through one of the great fissures of the rock. 
After climbing through, following Jacques, she found 
herself on a narrow precipitous path, which she 
would have supposed it impossible to attempt at 
another time. The darkness now proved merciful, 
and concealed from her the dangers of the way. 
Following closely on Jacques' footsteps they at last 
reached the bottom of the cliff in safety and were 
soon at Mammy Thomson's door. 

Old Mammy Thomson had not followed in the 
stampede of the negroes. Her master was the 
owner of a large neighboring plantation and a well 



ELISE. 35 

known Confederate leader ; this prevented her 
being annoyed by guerillas. Her little hut was 
built under the overhanging bank of the river. 

"De Lord have marcey!" she exclaimed as she 
opened the door and stood gazing out on them, lamp 
in hand, "I tought you been and goneNorf, " and then 
with a frightened look she added : "Whar's de massa 
an' de missis?" in the meantime, pulling Mademo- 
iselle and Jacques in hurriedly and shutting the door. 
"Dem soldiers are up to de house, rarin' and tarin' 
awful to hear." 

Mademoiselle soon explained matters and begged 
for a disguise. "De pore chile, shore I'se proud to 
gib yer anything I hab." 

She ran to a wooden chest at one side of her hut 
and began to pull out all her Sunday clothes. Made- 
moiselle had some difficulty in persuading her that 
these would not do, and she finally let them depart 
with a couple of old calico wrappers, sun bonnets- 
and some gay bandanna handkerchiefs. Mammy 
accompanied them to the door with loud exclama- 
tions of pity and dismay, and with strongest 
asservations of being as secret as the grave, which 
promises she kept only too well as the sequel will 
show. 



CHAPTER III. 



CONFIDENCE. 



Poor little Elise awoke with a start from her bed 
■of moss and boughs. At first she thought herself at 
home in the nurser}', but the strange feeling of the bed 
drew her attention. She put out her hand and felt 
the coarse blanket round her. Gradually the events 
of the preceding day came back to her mind. 

Where was she now? Where was Mademoiselle? 
A bat skimmed oround the cave and brushed her 
cheek. 

She screamed a little at this, and then called; 
"Mademoiselle !" 

There was no response. 

"Mademoiselle, dear Mademoiselle," she cried 
plaintively, and timidl}', "Here's Elise." 

Only the awful silence and darkness ! Was she 
then alone in this dreadful place? A great terror 
seized her. The terrible darkness seemed pressing 
her down. She had never before been alone in the 
dark, and for an instant her reason seemed to leave 



ELISE. 35 

her. Springing from the bed she ran shrieking 
through the cave but was brought to a stop by 
running with such violence against its rocky side 
that she was thrown stunned and breathless to the 
floor. As she recovered her senses and looked up 
she saw a flicker on the roof of the cave, from the 
fire of the guerillas outside, which caught her 
attention, and she remembered the danger of making 
a noise, which might betra\- the hiding place to 
them. 

Shivering and wringing her hands, she rose on her 
knees, and moaned aloud : 

"Oh ! what shall I do? what shall I do?" 

As she glanced out the opening, through which 
the fire flickered, she saw a solitary star shining down 
on her, and as she gazed, she felt a sweet peace steal 
into her soul, quieting her fears and excitement. 

"Sweet Mother, Oh ! Sweet Mother, pray for 
me," she cried fervently, and folding her hands 
together she repeated the '"Our Father" from the 
bottom of her heart, and immediately she heard the 
interior call to confidence. 

"If papa or mamma, or even Henri were here," 
she said to herself, "you would not be afraid, and 
have you not the Elder Brother in your heart, and 
your Guardian Angel at your side, Elise? If I 
could only see, and feel you, dear angel, I would be so 
glad, but I know, just the same, that you are here 
taking care of me. I will not be afraid." 



36 ELISE. 

Drawing again her medal from her bosom she 
kissed it. murmuring: "Be thou a mother to me." 

A great happiness and content tilled her little 
heart and she laid her head against the rock where 
she could watch the star. 

When Mademoiselle and Jacques returned, they 
found her there sleeping tranquilly on the floor of 
the cave. The}^ lifted her, without her waking, 
and laid her again on the bed of moss. 

Without her faith, there is no doubt that the 
child would have received a severe nervous shock 
of which she would have felt the consequences for 
the rest of her life or perhaps have lost her reason. 
Her precious life had been so carefully sheltered, 
her highly excitable, and naturally imaginative 
temperament rendered her wholly unfit to bear 
such a terrible strain on nerves and courage. But 
her faith, and the consciousness of the unseen 
world about her, were so real and vivid, that she had 
not the slightest doubt of the presence, the love and 
protection of God, and the angels and saints. They 
were as real to her as the members of her home 
family. She had been most carefully taught, 
through means of the sacraments, that "it is of 
faith that God dwells in the innermost heart of man," 
and, child as she was, she had learned to seek and 
converse with Ilim there. Also, that "we are 
surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses,'' and that 
precisely as with her friends on earth, so could she 



ELISE. 37 

•find comfort and aid, by an appeal to the great 
company of the "Church Triumphant." Conse- 
quently, she had not only escaped unscathed from 
this trial, but also her faith was strengthened and 
purified, and her whole soul elevated to a higher 
point than before. 

"Pore lile Missy, "as he assisted Mademoiselle to 
lift her, "Ef I was lef hyar alone I'd be mos' skeared 
to def." 

"Of what w^ould you be afraid?" said Madem- 
oiselle. "There is nothing here to hurt you." 

"I'se be afeard of ghostesses, wen I'se in de dark,' 
said the lad glancing out at an opening in order to 
reassure himself. "Once I saw one truly, Marm'- 
selle." 

"Nonsense, Jacques," was the response. 

"Tru's I'se bawn, Marm'selle. I was libbin' den 
wid Boss Ray nor on dat cotton pickin's twenty 
miles back fum h3'ar an' in de time ob de pickin' 
he'se used to hire a lot ob cullered fellers fum de 
odder plantations, an' dey all sleep under de shed. 
I'se a lile feller den, an' lib wid de odder chilluns 
long wid Marm Nance who brung us up. I was 
mighty tickled wen de obberseer said I was big 
enough to run errands fer 'im an' de men, an' I mus' 
join de gang, but I soon foun' t'was no fun. Run- 
ning all de day in de hot sun made me awful sick, 
so I crept into my bunk soon as we was let off. 
I went to sleep right away, but pretty soon I 



38 ETJSE. 

was woke up by an awful voice and it kep" a callin' 
out : 

" 'Jacques, Jacques.* I looks up, and dere share's 
I'se bawn was a great big shinin' face wid a grinnin' 
mouf as big as my head, full ob big teeth, big as my 
fum. I'se hid my head under de blanket but 'twas 
no use ; it came up right side ob me, and said wid a 
big screech : " 

" 'Jacques, Jacques, I wants your lungs and 
libber ! I'se gwine to eat >'our heart out.' Wid dat I 
gabe one yell and runs for Marm Nance : and wen 
I'se got inter her cabin, I fell down dead. She was 
awful good to me and wen next day de obberseer 
cum wid a big strap, and say 'I was onl\- shamming,' 
she shet de door in he face and says 'I was too sick 
an' shouldn't go wid him, an dat's all about it.' " 

"But Jacques," said Mademoiselle, "that was not 
a ghost only some bad men with a 'Jack O Lantern' 
who wanted to scare you." 

"So Marm Nance say, but Idunno," said the boy 
mysteriously. "Wen de obberseer go way, I'se 
feared he'd make me go an' I cut out de back door, 
and down by de big gate, where dcy cawn't fin' me, 
an' by-em-by Massa Henri and de Mistis come 
ridin' by on horseback. Oh ! dey did look fine ! an' 
wen Mistis saw me she stop, and den Massa 
Henri he stop too, and dey ask, 'wat's de matter ob 
me?' an' I'se dat sassy dat I up an' tells em all about 
it, an de Mistis she look awful sorr\-, an' she sav : 



ELISE. 39 

" 'Oh, Henri ! and he is just the age of our lad,' 
an' den dey talks a lile an' den dey turns an' rides up 
to de house. When dey comes back agin de Mistis 
smile on me like an angel an' she say : 

" 'You'se gwine to be our boy now fer we'se bought 
you an' you can come ober an' lib wid us at 
Regalia.' 

"I tried to put on my manners an' tank her 
kindly but fust ting I knew I bust right out cryin' 
like a big baby an' dey rides away. I ran up an' 
tell Aunt Nance and she's glad too, an' she say I 
better be off before dat obberseer come agin an' she 
gib me a big hunk of corncake to put in my pocket 
an" start off. I walks all day an' wen de night come 
I got hyar an' de Mistis say she awful glad I come 
to Regalia an' you know de res', Marm'selle, how I 
goes to catechism class and learns to read an' spell 
jes like de wite chilluns and ebberybody's good an" 
fore de Lord I'll work till I die for Marse Henri an' 
de Mistis."" 

Here Jacques made a sudden plunge to the other 
end of the cave and Mademoiselle was soon reassured 
of his sleep by the sound of his snoring. 



CHAPTER IV. 

RELICS. 

ElLSE woke the next morning very early, it wa.s 
so early that she could hardly see across the cave 
through the dim light of the morning. Madem- 
oiselle and Jacques had wakened her by their move- 
ments in stirring about the cave. They were already 
at work, rolling up the clothing in tight compact 
parcels, which they covered and tied up in gay 
bandanna handkerchiefs. 

"Oh Mademoiselle!" said Elise sitting up, as she 
recalled her fright of the previous night. "Where 
were you last night? I called, and called, but you 
did not answer," and she looked at her reproach- 
fully, her eyes filling with tears at the memory of 
her friend's desertion. 

Mademoiselle stopped her work, and with a smile 
crossed the cave and sat down by the child's side, 
and putting her arm around her looked down in her 
face with a glance full of love and pity. The gover- 
ness had atypical French face. Very thin, with a 



ELISE. 41 

dark clear complexion, an aquiline nose and black 
flashing eyes. Her eyes, combined with a very 
bright intelligent expression, were the only features 
which redeemed her face from great plainness. 
She was slight and erect in form, full of energ}- and 
decision in all her movements, and' as she was 
French, "it goes without saying" that her clothing, 
and wardrobe were always in perfect taste 
and fitness. She was fond of children, and always 
succeeded in winning their hearts, and in conse- 
quence was a good teacher, imparting to her pupils 
her own good principles of solid virtue and honor. 
The slight shade of down on her upper lip, covered 
an exceedingly sweet smile, and seemed only to add 
strength to her character. 

"My darling," she said, "I could not bear to leave 
you, but it was necessary that I should go with 
Jacques to old Mammy Thomson's to get something 
for us to wear, which would hide us away from the 
wicked men. If we are to get awa}- and find papa, 
we must put on these things and go quick I3' before 
the bad men wake up." As she spoke she held up 
the wrapper. 

"Wear that dirty thing," shrieked Elise. "That 
old wrapper ! I will never put that on." 

Mademoiselle said nothing, but began to put on 
her own disguise, and the children were soon shout- 
ing with lau":hter to see the trim Frenchwoman in 
a slovenly bright red wrapper, and a pink calico sun- 



42 ELISE. 

bonnet which came far over her face. EHse picked 
up the despised wrapper, and looked at it again, it 
was of dark blue calico, and reall}^ quite clean. 
The sunbonnet provided for her was also of calico, 
and bright yellow. 

"At any rate they've been washed since an}^ one 
wore them," she said doubtfully to herself, and 
then in a low tone : " ' They wander in sheep skins 
and goat skins being in want, and distress.' You're 
a proud thing, Elise, I hope the da}- may not 
come when you will be glad to get an old wrapper. 
I had much rather have a respectable sheep 
skin though," she added, as with a comical 
glance at Jacques she thrust her arms into the 
blue wrapper. 

After she had finished they all knelt for their 
morning offering, and ended with a fervent "Pater" 
and "Ave" for protection, both for thcmseh'es, and 
the dear ones, and that they might meet again in 
safety. Then they arose, and after a hasty meal 
from the remains of yesterday's provisions, left the 
cave. 

Jacques had already carried the bundles down to 
the boat and now returned. He kept tight hold of 
Elise in going down the face of the precipice and, at 
last, with many a hair-breadth escape from a slip 
which would have proved fatal, they reached the 
bottom in safety. When they reached the boat, the 
broad river was sparkling in the clear light of the 



ELISE. 45 

morning, and all nature seemed to speak of hope 
and success for their journey. 

Mademoiselle entered the boat, closely followed 
by Elise ; they sat down together in the stern, and 
Mademoiselle wrapped her traveling shawl around 
them both, for the morning was chilly. Jacques gave 
the boat a vigorous push, and jumping in himself^ 
they were afloat on the great Mississippi. 

"Mademoiselle," said Elise, after they had floated 
some time in silence down the river. "I wish you 
would tell us about your relics now, 3'ou said you 
would some time, last Sunday, didn't she Jacques?" 

"I dunno," said Jacques looking rather sheepishly. 
He would quite as soon have excused her from the 
task. 

"Oh I I remember," said Elise severely you were 
not there, "and you stay away very often, Jacques, 
you are not a very good boy, and sometimes make 
Henri naughty too." 

"Don't neither," said Jacques sullenly. 

"Where were you at confession last time?" said 
his inexorable tormentor. 

"Please, lile Missy, didn't go las' time," said 
Jacques in some confusion, "Was off on possum 
hunt." 

"That will do Elise," said Mademoiselle. "I 
will show you the relics, and we will talk of the 
saints, and beg of them to obtain for us favor and 
success on our journey." 



44 ELISE. 

Drawing a little satin bag from her satchel, she 
showed them a little silver reliquary. 

"This one is from St. Vincent de Paul," said 
she. 

Elise took it, and kissed it reverently. 

"Tell me what you remember of him Elise?" 
said Mademoiselle. 

"Oh I I can remember about him," said Elise 
brightly. "He was a poor boy brought up on a 
farm. When a young man, he was taken captive 
by some pirates, they were Mahomedans and they 
sold him as a slave. You said his troubles made 
him a saint, now we are in trouble too, do you 
think, perhaps, we shall be saints Mademoiselle?" 

" If we use our troubles rightl}-, and correspond 
faithfully with the grace of God," said Mademoiselle 
her eyes filling with tears. 

"Mighty big change fer some of us," said Jacques 
under his breath. 

Elise glanced at him scornfull}', and then went 
on with her story : 

"He was sold from one master ro another, and 
had many sorrows, and humiliations. He always 
remembered the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was 
always talking to Him in his heart about His cross 
and passion till at last he became like Him ; loving, 
humble, and patient." 

Elise paused as she remembered the scenes her 
quick and naughty temper had caused. "I shall 



ELISE. 45 

never be like that," she sighed, "but I'm glad now 
that we are wearing the clothes of a slave, it is like 
Him. Oh I I like to wear them now and to be 
homeless and a wanderer." 

Mademoiselle smiled atlhe little girl's enthusiasm, 
and pressed her hand. 

"Let me see," the child continued, "He was at 
last sold to an apostate ; and his wife, who was a 
Mahomedan became converted by hearing St. Vin- 
cent sing hymns. She asked the saint to tell 
her of his faith, and then persuaded her husband to 
return to his religion. After their conversion, his 
master and his family took St. Vincent with them 
and they crossed the sea in a little boat, and came 
to Rome ; that too was like us, wasn't it Madem- 
oiselle?" 

"Yes, dear; and may God grant us a safe and 
prosperous journey like theirs?" said the governess 
fervently. 

"He afterwards founded the Sisters of Charity^ 
the kind that wear the great, big, white flipperty- 
flaps about their heads." 

"What grace did he obtain for his troubles?'" 
said Mademoiselle. 

"I — I don't quite remember, tell us once more," 
said Elise. 

"Unbroken peace, and serenity," answered Made- 
moiselle, "as a little child in its mother's arms cares 
nothing for what is going on around it, so our 



46 ELISE. 

saint reposing in the love and power of the Sacred 
Heart, became utterly indifferent to the things of 
this world. Rising above all trouble to do the will 
of his Master became his only desire. Shall this be 
so with us, children?" 

Elise in response, kissed the relic again rev- 
erently. 

Mademoiselle had gone a little beyond her depth, 
but she understood enough to waken the glow of 
love within her, and her heart responded fervently. 

"Inthestatue in the school room," she said,"hehas 
some little children clinging to his soutane, and two 
in his arms." 

*'Yes," said Mademoiselle. "He had a great love 
for children. He built a home for children whose 
parents had forsaken them." 

"Like me?" queried Elise. 

"God forbid, my child. You are only separated 
from yours by the course of circumstances over 
which they have no control. You will understand 
it better vvhen you see them ; but now let Jacques 
tell what he remembers of St. Peter Claver?" 

"I dunno nothin' bout him," said Jacques un- 
willingly. 

"Oh Jacques!" said Elise reproachfull}', "don't 
you remember the picture of the good Jesuit Father, 
holding the poor sick colored man in his arms? 
Henri said it was you, and you got mad." 

"Never mind," said Mademoiselle, "if you have 
forgotten about it, we will go over it again." 



ELISE. 47 

"About three hundred years ago, the Spaniards 
brought over to this country many shiploads of 
negroes to work in the mines of South America. 
That was the beginning of slavery in this country." 

Elise had imbibed all her father's hatred of 
slavery, and began to look interested. 

"The Indians had broken down under their cruel 
masters, and it was thought that the negroes would 
be stronger. It was in the seaport of Carthagena, 
our saint lived, in the home of the Jesuit Fathers. 
All the saints have great hearts full of love and 
pity for the poor and unfortunate. The heart of 
St. Peter Claver was touched by the miseries of 
the poor slaves. The negroes were packed like 
animals in the crowded ships ; they were often 
diseased, died unbaptized, knowing nothing of the 
truths of our holy religion. When the saint saw 
these poor souls, for whom Christ died, so treated, 
his heart was broken. He begged his superiors to 
let him give up his life to their service. He took a 
vow, which he kept faithfull}', to be a 'slave of the 
slaves.' " 

"But, Mademoiselle," said Elise, "he could not 
make himself black." 

"No, dear," said the governess. "But a black 
skin does not make a slave. 'He sacrificed his 
inclination.' That is he never did what he liked to 
do, but always what the negroes would like him to 
do." 



48 ELISE. 

"I should not like that," said Elise. "I do like 
above all things to have my own way. I don't like 
to obey anyone but papa, the hardest thing in the 
world is to obey mamma, or even you, dear Mad- 
emoiselle, but I am going to begin this minute, and 
be just like him, and I'm going to be awful good to 
you, Jacques." 

Jacques sniffed incredulously, but kept his 
opinion to himself. 

"What else did he do for the negroes, Jacques?"" 
continued the governess. 

"Got 'em lots ob good tings to eat," said Jacques. 
"I'se awful hungry, Mam'selle, and dere's a mighty 
good wilier ober dere for us to eat our dinner 
under." 

Mademoiselle was firm that the}' should wait until 
noon before landing and undoing Mammy Thom- 
son's big hamper: but Elise found him a biscuit and 
took his place at the oars for a while, in pursuance 
of her good resolution. 

Mademoiselle continued: "The poor negroes were 
carried from the ships to prisons, where they were 
treated far worse than we would treat our animals.. 
The saint went to live with them, one might almost 
say. For fifty years he endured this life of slow 
martyrdom. Then when his body gave way and he 
was unable to toil any longer, he still persevered in 
crucifying his inclination, and even in his last illness 
refused to allow himself the ordinary comforts of 



ELISE. 49 

life. After his death the whole city rose up as one 
man and called him a saint. He wrought many 
miracles. He raised two from the dead ; but the 
greatest of all miracles, was his humble, mortified 
life, persevered in for half a century. He had 
baptized four hundred thousand negroes with his owa 
hand." 

Mademoiselle sat lost in her own thoughts. Elise 
had dropped the oars and sat gazing at the relic. 
Who can say what St. Peter Claver was doing for 
her bright, loving, fervent little heart. 

Jacques had finished his biscuit, and with an 
exclamation of disgust came scrambling over the 
seats. 

"Hi, lile Missy ! you'se drifting right onto dat 
snag." 

"Mademoiselle," said Elise, "Mary Auger says 
your relic is nothing but an old rag put in a glass 
case." 

"Dat sure nuf, sassy chile, Mary Auger," said 
Jacques. 

" I think, children, you are hardly old enough yet 
to understand the full meaning of the ' Communion 
of Saints,' but I am very sure that Mary has the 
love tokens of earthly friends which she would not 
at all like to hear were only bits of paper, etc." 

"Hi ! don't she git mad?" said Jacques. 

"And don't you remember how handkerchiefs and 
aprons were carried from St. Peter and the other 



io 



ELISE. 



apostles, to the sick, and possessed the virtue to cure 
them?" added the governess. 

"Papa said, that if only our spiritual eyes were 
opened, we would see angels all around us, and per- 
-haps sometimes, like little Bernadette at Lourdes, 
the Blessed Mother. I wish mine were. I would so 
like to see my guardian angel. Do you think, Mad- 
emoiselle, if I prayed lots and lots as hard as I could 
to be 'pure in heart,' that my spiritual eyes would be 
open, that I may see?" said the child wistfully. 

"I don' want to," said Jacques, "I'se 'fraid of 
ghostesses." 

Then bending to his oars he began a French boat 
song, Elise joined in with him, and so the morning 
went happily on, with song and story, until at last 
Mademoiselle gave orders to land for rest and a 
•dinner. 




CHAPTER V. 

FATHER LAWRENCE. 

In the meantime what had become of M. de la 
Roche and his family? We left them boarding the 
steamer under the fire of the guerillas. The poor 
little mother fainted at the first alarm, while the dis- 
tracted father offered anything, any sum of money, 
for men and a boat to go to the rescue of his child. 
Perceiving that his request would not be granted, he 
attempted to jump into the water at the peril of his 
life. In this he was prevented, and was forcibly 
held, while the steamer, putting on all steam, went 
rapidly down the river. 

Madame came out of her fainting fit only to go 
into vdolent hysterics, and succeeded in rousing the 
sympathies of all the passengers, many of whom 
Avere refugees like themselves. After all she was 
easily consoled ; she had her husband and Henri, 
and was quite willing to believe the captain, when he 
represented to her that the child would be restored 
to her almost as soon as she reached New Orleans. 



52 ELISE. 

"Elise could always take good care of herself," she 
said to her sympathizers, "she is such an independ- 
ent child. Dear mamma used to say ' that she 
could manage if she were dropped alone in China,* 
so different, you know, to Henri, who clings so to 
me. She has not much heart, I fear." 

The father made no answer, but the thought of 
his child, far dearer to him than all the world, in the 
hands of the guerillas, filled his soul with despera- 
tion which took all a man's strong will to control. 
With the love of true friendship, which was strength- 
ening day by day, unknown to themselves, or to 
the world, their souls were knit together. Elise was 
the only one who had any conception of the high 
ideals for which her father was striving. Child as 
she was, she grasped them, and looked up to her 
father, with an admiring love and confidence which 
won his whole heart. He was obliged to go on with 
his family to New Orleans, evincing apparent calm, 
but with a strong man's prayers, he besieged Heaven 
to gain safety and protection for his dear child, 
until at length peace stole over his soul, calming the 
storm, and giving him an assurance that all was well. 
Communion with God was his only comfort, and when 
not required by the needs of his famil)% he returned 
again to his interior life, until all were struck by the 
peace and resignation of his countenance. 

They reached New Orleans about three in the 
afternoon, and were met at the wharf by M. Gabriel^ 




KLI.^E. 



ELISE. • 53^ 

brother of M. de la Roche. He met them with re- 
Heved face, and outstretched hands. 

"Well met I you are just hi time," he exclaimed. 
"I didn't suppose you'd have so much sense, Henri. 
The New York steamer leaves at six. I have en- 
gaged your staterooms and was just fretting myself 
to death because I thought there would be no one to 
take them, though for that matter, there are piles of 
people going North, who would be glad enough to 
get them." 

Tearfully they explained to him their troubles, 
which he heard with downcast face. 

"Poor child I" said M. Gabriel, "I thought you 
were in more trouble than I expected to see, but the 
child will be all right, and you must go without her, 
Henri. We are likely to be blockaded any day and 
this maybe your last chance to get through in safety. 
You can do no good to Elise by remaining here, but 
I can send a squad of Confederate soldiers after her 
in a steam yacht and bring her down in time to take 
the next chance for going North, after \'ou, under the 
care of friends. So far from helping us in the rescue, 
your presence would only prove a source of em- 
barrassment to us." 

INI. Gabriel spoke with some unkindness ; his 
brother's unworldliness had always been a source of 
trial to him. "A want of judgment, and common 
sense he called it," and now seeing no sign of yield- 
ing in him, he turned to Madame, and as he turned 



54 ELISE. 

he saw someone coming down the wharf whom he 
hailed with great rehef. 

It was Father Lawrence. 

The priest who came toward them was stout, and 
short in stature, with round, smooth face and Hght 
brown hair which was brushed smoothly down be- 
hind his ears. He was of Quaker descent and had 
inherited the sweetness and quietness of that sect. 
He had a most genial smile and manner ; there was 
nothing in his dress to indicate the priest. With 
perfect simplicity, and total lack of self conscious- 
ness, he advanced to meet them. 

M. Gabriel poured forth his stor}' as soon as the 
first greetings were over, and appealed to the priest 
to support him. One glance between Father Law- 
rence and M. Henri showed to the priest all that was 
in the poor father's heart. 

Father Lawrence stood silent, and absorbed for a 
few moments. He turned to M. Henri. 

"My son," he said, "I fear you must go." 

"Oh father!" was all M. Henri could answer, as 
he wrung the priest's hand, "\'ou ask too much of 
me." 

"Your brother is right in thinking that }-ou should 
place yourself, and those dependent on }-ou, in safety 
while you can do so. I myself will go with the 
soldiers, and take charge of Elise, as though she were 
my own." 

M. Henri listened in anguish to this decision. 



ELISE. 55 

The great drops of sweat stood out on his pale fore- 
head and a deathly faintness stole over him. His 
own reason, however, showed him this was the best 
plan, and he submitted with a sore heart. Silently 
he nodded his acquiescence to his brother, who hasten- 
ed to put Madame and the children into a carriage, 
while M. Henri took the priest's arm and walked 
down the wharf. He had the consolation of seeing 
the father and some soldiers embarked in a steam 
yacht for Regalia before he left, and telegrams were 
sent to the different points to look out for the missing 
ones. 

"Look out for her on the next New York steamer,'' 
said Father Lawrence cheerfully, as he stepped on 
board the yacht. 

We may as well add that their search was in vain, 
however. Mademoiselle and Jacques had so well 
covered their flight that no trace could be found of 
them. The guerillas denied having ever seen them 
at all. Old Mammy Thomson's hut was overlooked 
in the general search. No one had heard, or seen 
them. They had apparently vanished from the face 
of the earth. A final incident to be related here- 
after, gave rise to the belief that all had perished in 
the river. 



CHAPTER VI. 



THE BAYOU. 



We left our voyagers about to land at noon for 
rest and refreshment. The place Mademoiselle 
pointed out to Jacques was where a bend of the 
river made a little semi-circular bay. It was a lovely 
peaceful spot, there were no houses in sight, so 
that it seemed entirely secluded from observation. 
This was, in part, owing to the fact that the embank- 
ments were so high that nothing could be seen be- 
yond them. Jacques landed them on a sandy beach 
at the foot of an old tree growing out of the em- 
bankment, and whose overhanging branches were 
so laden with long, grey moss, as to form a kind of 
pavilion for the little party. Mademoiselle seated 
herself on the trunk of a fallen tree, while Elise opened 
Mammy Thomson's hamper ; and Jacques built a fire 
from the scattered drift wood. Mademoiselle soon 
became lost in painful musing; already she began 
to see almost insurmountable difficulties in her way. 
Jacques was already so tired at the end of a few 



ELISE. 57 

hours, that he could not hold out much longer she 
felt sure. 

Alone, with two helpless children in a country 
demoralized by war, what should she do? They 
looked for protection to her who felt so sorely in 
need of protection herself. 

Mademoiselle was the last of the family. She had 
been living alone with her mother in New Orleans 
previously to her engagement with M. de la Roche. 
She was enabled to support both by giving lessons 
in French, and music. Bravely she struggled, 
and in silence, and her mother never wanted for 
anything, little dreaming of the self-denial of her 
child, made in order to meet her desire, but that 
child was happy in saying after her mother's death : 
"She never expressed a wish that was not 
gratified." Well it was for Mademoiselle that the 
end was not long. A long sickness would have 
obliged her to that bitterest of all things, asking 
charity from others. A sudden attack of pneumonia I 
and then in three days all was over, and she was 
left alone. 

After her mother's death, the kind old woman, 
whom the doctor had sent as nurse, drew her un- 
resistingly to her own room, made her lie down,, 
darkened the room and then left her that she might 
perform the last sad offices for the dead. 

Left alone, alone in the great world ! the very 
thought caused black numbness of despair to settle 



58 ELISE. 

down and stupefy the poor governess. Alone ! 
alone in the world ! — If God had only been merciful 
enough to take her along with her dear mother — now 
how could she face the terrible blank of the future? 
She sank into a sleep, in her great sorrow, and in her 
dreams she seemed to see our Lord as she had once 
seen him in the engraving, "Christus Consolator." 
He was seated on a throne holding out his hands in 
blessing ; while around Him was seen every kind of 
human sorrow, and misery holding up their hands 
in earnest entreaty. The mother holding up her dy- 
ing child, the slave his manacled hands, famine, want, 
disease of every kind was represented there. Then 
it seemed to her, in her dream, that the Master 
turned and looked at her with a glance that stirred 
the depths of her soul as He said : pointing to the 
people. "Inasmuch as ye did it to these; ye did 
it to Me." 

Strengthened and comforted she fell into a deep 
sleep, and when she woke was astonished to find 
herself so strong, and calm. After the funeral, when 
all her affairs were settled, she was enabled to pay 
all her indebtedness, but left herself quite penniless. 
She had been drawn for some years, by a vocation, 
to become a Sister of Mercy, in the convent where 
she had been educated ; but when she found herself 
so poor, she decided she must first earn herself a 
dowry. 

She advertised for a place as governess, and was 



ELISE. 59 

engaged by M. de la Roche, and had been with the 
family about six months, when the war broke out. 
Now here this was ended, and she was again poor, 
helpless, and homeless, fleeing from unknown and 
consequently greater evils. Here she was aroused 
from these painful musings by a conversation 
between the two children. 

"Jacques," said Elise, holding up a fried chicken, 
" lucky it is not Friday. Do you remember how 
mad you were at Marie because we had nothing for 
dinner last Friday but salt fish balls ; they were 
good though, I liked them." 

"I doesn't then," grumbled Jacques. 

" Marie Auger says all the rabble are Catholics," 
said Elise. 

"Oh, no I" said Jacques doubtfully. "Who am 
dem rabbles anyhow?" 

"Well," said Elise, "I suppose she means the poor 
and the rough wicked people. I do- like nice re- 
spectable people, don't you, Jacques?" 

"Sartainly," said Jacques. "Our family is de 
best in de Ian', and we kin hold up our heads any- 
wheres." 

Here, taking up a board, he began a vigorous 
tattoo with a stick accompanied with a jig, which 
set Elise off in a hearty burst of laughter ; this per- 
formance was to let Mademoiselle know that dinner 
was served. Hardly had they begun their meal^ 
when they heard voices approaching overhead. 



60 ELISE. 

"Remember, Elise,"said Mademoiselle hurriedly, 
"do not speak at all, if you can avoid it; draw your 
bonnet over 3'our face, and keep your eyes down 
on the ground." 

The party approaching consisted of the owner of 
the plantation where they had landed, and some other 
gentleman who had received M. Gabriel's telegrams. 
Unfortunately Father Lawrence had not yet 
arrived. They hailed Jacques from the top of the 
embankment with : 

" Holloa, you, what are you doing there?" 

" Nottin', nottin' tall, sah," called Jacques, " only 
lile dinner, sah." 

"Who is that with you ?" 

"Ony my 'ooman, an' lile gal, sah." 

Here Elise recognizing the gentleman as one of 
their neighbors, started up to speak to him, and 
received a sharp blow on the ear from Mademoiselle, 
who simulating a rough tone shouted : 

" Hyar, you Suke, sit down an' 'have yourself." 

This completely deceived the seeking party, and 
if they had any hope before of finding the missing 
child, now turned away and went back leaving the 
little party of refugees alone once more. 

Poor little Elise ! she had never been struck 
before in her life. All the pride and passion of her 
nature rose out to the combat. She drew herself 
up, and looked at her governess with a haughty im- 
perious air, and flashing eyes. 



ELISE. 6 1 

"How dare you?" she began, but all at once her 
head drooped, her eyes filled with tears, and her 
cheeks grew scarlet. What had so changed the 
child? Before her mental gaze she had seen the 
cruel scourging and her memory brought back the 
thought of the relic she had kissed that morning, 
with the resolution to be just like the saint who had 
borne the blows of his apostate master, and then the 
still, small voice of Him Who is meek and lowly of 
heart. Again she looked at her governess, and 
met her pitying look. The governess stretched out 
her arms to her, and she sprang into them, while 
they mingled their tears together. Then seeing 
Jacques looking at them in amazement, his eyes 
rolling in his head until the whites were visible, and 
his mouth wide open with astonishment, she burst 
into a merry laugh, so contagious, that Mademoiselle 
and Jacques were fain to join her, then with renewed 
courage they re-embarked on the long voyage to 
New Orleans. 

" My darling," said Mademoiselle, as they again 
headed their course down stream, "you must be more 
cautious. You nearly betrayed us and would have, 
if the gentlemen had not turned away so quickly." 

"But, Mademoiselle, that was M. Du Bois, I have 
often seen him at Regalia," said Elise. 

"True, my child, but now you must trust me and 
speak to no one if you wish soon to join your 
parents." 



62 ELISE. 

Elise promised, and the governess recalling the 
children's conversation before dinner continued : 

"Tell us, Elise, when St. John Baptist sent his 
disciples to our Lord to find out if he were the true 
Messiah, what two marks did he give them?" 

"His miracles, and that the poor had the Gospel 
preached to them." was the prompt reply. 

"Then, "said Mademoiselle, "besides the four marks 
given in catechism, 'It is 'One, Holy, Catholic, and 
Apostolic,' there are these two additional ones, the 
church of miracles, and the church of the outcast, 
the poor." 

Elise colored a little and said : "I do not mind 
Catholics being poor, but the bad people. Mary 
Auger says all our prisons and reformatories are 
filled with Catholics." 

" 'Why doth your Master eat with publicans and 
sinners?' " said Mademoiselle in low impressive tones, 
"and the Master answered ; 'I came, not to call the 
righteous but sinners to repentance,' and also, 'they 
that are in health, need not a physician, but they that 
are ill.' Tell me, Elise, would you like Holy Mother 
Church to reckon only nice, respectable people as 
her children the Pharisees and Scribes of our day? " 

Elise's look was sufiicient answer, as she scrambled 
over the seats behind Jacques, and began to look 
down in the water. They were still in the bay and 
the water very shallow ; presently Elise became 
greatly excited. 



ELISE. 6$. 

"Oh Jacques I" said she, "I can see fish — one^ 
two, three." 

"Dat so?" said Jacques. "By-em-by we catch em 
for our supper." 

"Give me a Hne now, Jacques, and I'll troll while 
you row." 

Jacques, who could refuse nothing to his "lile Missy," 
began searching for the required articles in the little 
cubby under the seat, and Mademoiselle drew a book 
from her satchel and was soon lost in its contents. 

It took much time and discussion to adjust the- 
fishing tackle satisfactorily, and in the meantime the 
boat drifted with the current. 

Mademoiselle's attention was finally drawn by the 
shade and gathering gloom around her. It was 
grateful after the hot noonday sun, but it finally 
struck her that it was not just the thing. She lifted 
her head, and gazed around her. 

"Why, children," she said, as she looked up,- 
''where are we? Jacques, where are we? Jacques, 
what are you doing?" 

Jacques stared round him with open mouth and 
comical astonishment. They seemed floating down 
a swift stream. Trees were on every side, and the 
long pendants of grey moss gave a solemn aspect to- 
the scene. The sun was completely shut out, except 
where it entered at intervals, showing treacherous 
green hummocks, half submerged trunks of fallen 
trees, and dangerous looking snags. 



64 ELISE. 

Poor Jacques looked utterly bewildered for a 
moment. After glancing round he exclaimed : 

"Let us bress de Lord ! Marm'selle, I 'specks we'se 
in de bayou. I row right back agin in a minit." 

But alas ! that was not so easily done. A strong 
current seemed drawing them -irresistibly on, and 
whichever way they turned they found only an 
endless succession of creeks, forest and snags. Elise 
forgot her fishing, and after reeling in her line, crept 
quietly up to Mademoiselle and sat in the bottom of 
the boat with her head in her governess' lap. Two 
or three hours passed, and poor Jacques was utterly 
exhausted. Courage was fast dying out in their 
breasts. Once an immense cayman stuck up his long 
5nout near the boat, and looked at them wickedly ; 
again a water moccasin seized the oar. They were 
tormented by mosquitoes, and at last Jacques laid 
down his oars, and burst into tears. 

"Where are we, and what shall we do?" said 
Mademoiselle. 

"Deed, I don't know,'' said Jacques, forcing back 
his tears. 

"Let us all say the Memorare together," said 
Mademoiselle. 

And together they repeated St. Bernard's wonder- 
ful prayer. 

Hardly had they finished when they heard a shout, 
and looking up they saw a long narrow canoe pro- 
pelled through the water by some Indians who 
were shouting and gesticulating to them. 



ELISE. 



65 



"Merciful Heavens !" said the governess, "we are 
lost." 

Jacques began to bawl out loud like a baby. 
Elise, white and trembling clung to her governess, 
whispering : 

"Dear Mademoiselle, shall we be martyrs?" 




Rising to the occasion, the governess regained her 
calm, and said : 

"Hush, children ! have courage, and God will 
protect us." 

As the Indians drew nearer the little party were 
reassured by hearing themselves addressed in 
French. The leader among the Indians stood up, 
and threw a coil of rope at Jacques, shouting an 



65 ELISE. 

exclamation of disgust at his cowardice, and com- 
manded him to fasten it to his boat. Jacques, in 
fear and trembling, dried up his tears and obeyed. 
The Indians towed the boat rapidly through the- 
water, and in less than half an hour they were float- 
ing once more on the broad river, in shelter of a 
qui^it cove. The Indians then drew up their canoe 
alongside the boat. 

"What are you doing? and where did you come 
from?" said their leader abruptly. 

"We are poor refugees from the war," answered 
Mademoiselle, " and we are trying to regain our 
home and friends in New Orleans." 

"And what brought you into the bayou?" de- 
manded the Indian. 

"We do not know, we suddenh' found ourselves 
there," said Mademoiselle. 

"You were drawn in by the current, and the fool- 
ishness of that big baby, I suppo&e," said the Indian. 
"Do not trust him again. Ten minutes later and 
you would have been lost forever in the quicksands." 

Mademoiselle thanked him gratefully, and offered 
him money but he refused it, and tossing into their 
boat a fine fish, he loosed the rope, and quickly 
shot back into the shadows of the bayou. 

Mademoiselle then took Jacques' place at the oars, 
for his hands were blistered, and the whole party 
worn out with fatigue, and excitement. But the day 
was drawing to a close, and she felt her strength 



ELISE. 6"] 

fast giving way. She soon decided that they must 
land for the night, and looked about for a place. 

Alas ! in plain sight was a tree, the big willow 
where they had dined ; they had not advanced two 
miles down the river since then. 

Silently and dejectedly they landed. Jacques 
dared not look Mademoiselle in the face ; but as he 
again kindled a fire his spirits rose and soon he was 
chatting gayly to Elise as he dressed the shad that 
the Indians had given them for their evening meal. 

"Yer nebber ate planked shad afore now did ye, 
lile Missy? Fore de Lawd it's good now, you'll see. 
Fust we takes a clean board like dis un " : — suiting 
the action to the word. " Den I nails de fish down on 
""un flat like dat. Lucky I had dem nails in my 
pocket. Low, no count niggas nebber hab any- 
ting when you want it. Den I stan's itober de coals 
like dat, an by-em-by you sa}^ : 'Jacques, I nebber 
ate anyting so good afore in all my life.' " 

He then proceeded to boil the coffee, and an- 
nounce formally and solemnly to Mademoiselle, 
that dinner was served. 

He kept away from her, however, and employed 
himself in gathering moss and evergreen boughs for 
their bed. When he had finished, he went to the 
locker of the boat and drew forth a piece of mos- 
quito netting which he suspended to the bough of a 
tree and the sleeping apartment was finished. 

The ladies, indeed, in the meantime found their 



68 



ELISE. 



meal excellent ; and with grateful hearts a little later 
they knelt, and repeated the night prayers. Then 
confiding themselves to the care of their guardian 
angels, they fell asleep as secure as though guarded 
by legions of soldiers. 




Av-^V ^ 




HENRI. 




CHAPTER VII. 



DEATH. 

"Now, Jacques," said Elise decidedly, as the next 
morning they stepped into the boat to go on their 
voyage. "I'm going to row today, yesterday, you 
and Mademoiselle did all the work, and to-day it is 
my turn." 

"Laws I no, lile Missy, I spec' I see dem lile 
arms of yours at dese oars. Why, 3'ou couldn't go 
no ways 'tall. Jes' you wait till I git goin', and 
kinder limbered out, and you'll see we'll be at New 
Orleans in jis' no time 'tall." 

"I think we will not attempt to row much farther," 
said the governess. "At the next settlement we had 
better stop, and Jacques may try to sell the boat. 
Then we will put on our own clothes, and the money 
we get for the boat ought to pay our passage to 
New Orleans by rail." 

"Hooray for Marm'selle I" shouted Jacques, swing- 
ing his hat, while Elise clapped her hands with joy ; 
the boat had lost all its attractions now, and the 
children were heartily tired of it. 



70 ELISE. 

"De bery ting," said Jacques. "Wy didn' we 
tink ob it afore? But wat dat boat comin' dis way? 
Oh, lile Missy, look at de dude yacht comin' in. Dey 
looks at us, as if dey nebber see 'spectable folk afore. 
Sassy fellahs ! Hope you'll know us nex' time you 
sees us." 

"Keep this side, Jacques, out of their way," said 
Mademoiselle nervously. 

"Look I" said Elise, "one must be a priest, he has 
a coat like one, and see they are going to land." 

"Glad we'se got off fust," said Jacques. 

"Why," said Elise, "don't you like priests, why 
aren't you more pious?" 

"I didn' mean de priest, any more'n anyone else," 
said Jacques, "bvit dis wat I tink, lile Missy, and 
dat wat Fadder Lawrence tell us too. Dat ef I 
good boy, and 'bey de Church and Massa an Mistis, 
when. I goes to mass, and tries to be kin' to ebbery- 
body, and not be cross, wen folks isn't good to me, 
dat wat de bes' religion for dis ol' fellah I tinks." 

"I think so, too, Jacques," said the governess, 
"and let us all try to practise it now, where there is 
so much to try our patience." 

How little they dreamed that Father Lawrence was 
the very priest they had just seen, and that the yacht 
was going in search of them, whom they had passed 
by, unrecognized in their negro dress. On they 
went, the little band of fugitives to New Orleans while 
the priest and soldiers searched in vain for them. 



ELISE. 71 

Keeping the little sermon, which Jacques preached, 
in mind, each strove to put away the discomfort caused 
by a night in camp, and to keep up courage and 
cheerfulness for the sake of the others, shortening 
the way with song, jest and story, and with many 
anticipations of the happy reunion in New Orleans, 
little dreaming that to one of their number home 
and heaven were so near. 

It was nearly noon ; they were talking of landing, 
and straining their e3'es to see if there were any 
signs of a settlement around. Jacques had rowed 
out well into the current of the river, in order to 
take advantage of that, to help them on their way, 
when suddenly they heard coming around the bend 
of the river behind them the puff, puff, of a large 
steamer, and looking around they saw a large cotton 
packet bearing directly down on them. It was a 
broad, flat bottom steamer, with side wheels shaded 
something like our ferry boats, and was piled to the 
top of the two smoke stacks, with bales of cotton. 

"Row in shore, Jacques !" screamed Mademoiselle. 

The packet whistled loudly, and the men on 
board her shouted directions, and the commotion 
made poor Jacques completely lose his head. He 
bent desperately at his oars, and rowed them directly 
across the steamer's path. Mademoiselle and Elise 
stood up, threw their arms around each other, and 
closing their eyes, awaited the shock. The packet 
shot by so closely, that it upset the little boat, but 



'J2 ELISE. 

tv^vo m2n who had run forward with boat hooks, 
caught up the two women, and drew them on the 
deck uninjured, while poor Jacques was thrown into 
the water, and drawn under, by the big side wheel. 
The boat was stopped at once, and as he rose to the 
surface behind the boat, he, too, was caught by a 
boat hook, and hauled up on deck. He was quite 
unconscious at first, but every effort was made to 
revive him, and at last he gasped, opened his eyes, 
and tried to move. 

He could not, and the effort to do so caused him 
to moan sadly. 

It was evident that he had been badly injured by 
a blow from the wheel. The poor lad laid on the 
deck of the packet, wrapped in a coarse blanket, with 
his head in Elise's lap. Mademoiselle was kneeling 
beside him, applying the restoratives. The crew of 
the packet were standing around gazing at the group. 
The pallor of the poor black face, the sharpening 
features, and gasping breath, showed that death 
was near at hand. Overhead was the clear blue of 
a summer sky, flecked here and there with a fleecy 
cloud. The exceeding peace of the Holy Ghost 
rested overall the landscape. How could so dread- 
ful a thing as death be there? 

Jacques looked first at the weeping child, and then 
around at the others in a bewildered way, and finally 
Slid in a low frightened tone: 

"Wiiar' is I ? Oh I I remembers, I fell in de water. 



ELISE. 73 

Tank God we'se safe, lile Missy. I'se 'fraid I'd killed 
ye, but don y' cry, what for you cry so hard? Is I 
gwine to die?" 

"Jacques, dear," said the governess in a low sweet 
tone, "are you willing to give up your life, if God 
asks you for it?" 

"Oh yes," said Jacques wearily, "willin' and 
glad, pears like dis worl' no place for pore cullered 
boy like me. Seems like I don't belong nowhars 
or to nobody. Now Massa Henri and de Mistis 
gwine Norf, better I die, and go home. What was 
de prar,' Mamselle? I mos' disremember. What was 
it? 'Wen dow will, whar dow wilt, an' as dow wilt, 
only in de communion ob de Holy Cattolic Church, 
an' in perfect charity wid all mankin'.' I is dat I 
belieb truly, and I say dat ebbery night since we 
learned it, Marmselle, las' Sunday *' 

A moment's silence, broken by his difficult breath- 
ing, and the sobs of the women. 

"How Massa Henri laugh wen I say dat to you 
first time, on'y las' Sunday ; don' dat seem long 
time ago?" 

"Oh Jacques I" sobbed Elise. "Don't die, please, 
please don't die, and papa will take you North with us. 
He didn't know, and we did not any of us dream you 
were so lonely. I know he will take you, when he 
hears how good and brave you have been for us." 

"I'se made a good confession las' time : Fadder 
Lawrence he say so hissef. I went to Holy Com- 



74 ELISE. 

munion so I'se ^vashcd clean and am ready to go, 
better I goes now I tink. Massa don' want to take 
no no-account niggahs Norf wid him." 

Just then strains of music came across the water, 
from another steamer going up the river with a 
regiment of soldiers on board. The regimental 
band waspla3'ing "Dixie." 

Jacques smiled faintly. "Member dat walk-around 
on VVhitsun-Tuesday, lile Missy? Massa Henri 
tumbled down. How Fadder Lawrence and Massa 
and Mistis did laugh ; but you didn' fall down, you 
double shuffle wid de bes'. Oh ! I wish Fadder 
Lawrence was here now, so I do," and he looked 
wistfully at Mademoiselle. 

"Make your act of contrition, Jacques," said she 
tenderly, "and trust all to God, and all will be well 
with you." 

Slowly, painfully, with uiar.y a pause, he made £. 
fervent act of contrition, adding the acts of Faith, 
Hope and Charity, which Holy Mother Church puts 
into her children's mouths for all times, and needs. 

Then Mademoiselle began the prayers for those 
in their agony, while Elise held the lighted candle, 
which a Catholic sailor brought, in the now power- 
less fingers. She held the crucifix to his lips whisper- 
ing comforting ejaculations in his ear. He kissed 
the crucifix fervently and a look of joy and peace 
stole over his face. 

" I cannot see," he gasped, " an' de water is in 



ELISE. 75 

my ears. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph;" one more 
gasp, and all was over. The governess began the 
" Rosary for the Dead," but was stopped by Elise, 
who threw herself with a terrified scream into her 
arms. 

The captain, a New England man, now stepped 
forward. He had been at first greatly annoyed, 
and afterward puzzled by the whole occurrence. 
He supposed, when he saw them, that they were a 
party of negroes fishing, and his language was more 
emphatic than choice and select, when they got under 
his packet. He stood ready to give the two darkeys 
a sound scolding when they were hauled up on deck 
by his men, but was struck dumb, first by the deli- 
cate, refined faces, where he expected black ones, 
and afterward by the dying scene. 

He motioned now to the sailors to remove the 
^ody^ while Elise was in the arms of her governess, 
sobbing hysterically, and shaking from head to foot. 
It was the first time, poor child, she had ever seen 
death, and she was very fond of Jacques. 

" Bring the child this way, Marm," said the 
captain gruffly, leading the way aft, and sending for 
some wine. 

The deck was piled nearly to the top of the smoke 
stacks, as we have said before, with cotton bales. 
Wending their way through these they came to a 
little space which had been left clear at the end of the 
boat. The captain pulled down a bale, threw a rug 



'j6 ELISE. 

across it, arranged it in a spot sheltered from 
the sun, and then made EHse drink some wine, and 
He down on this improvised couch. He was deeply 
impressed by the child's grief and beauty, and the 
great effort she made to control herself. Seeing her 
at last grow more quiet, he turned to Mademoiselle, 
and said in exasperation : 

" Now, Madam, will you be so kind as to tell me 
from where you have come? and who you are? and 
where you are going? " 

Their story was soon told. The captain listened 
in silence, and kept his own opinion as to the sense 
of women, and when Mademoiselle had finished he 
said : 

"My boat ain't no kind of place for wimen folks, 
and that's the whole truth, but the weather is warm, 
and I reckon you can't do better than manage on the 
deck for a night. In these times it is safer to lie to 
at night, and I always do ; but I expect to be in 
New Orleans tomorrow morning at nine o'clock 
sharp, and I guess you better keep along with me 
as you don't seem to manage your own craft very 
well." 

"And the boy?" said Mademoiselle anxiously. 
"Can you carry his body to the city?" 

"Oh I that will be all right," said the captain. 

"Thank you, more than I can say, for your kind- 
ness ; we shall be grateful for your protection, and 
you will be well paid when we reach our friends." 



ELisE. yy 

"All right," said the captain gruffly, and he 
turned on his heel and left them. 

In those days when negroes were bought and sold 
like cattle, their bodies after death met with pretty 
much the same treatment. The captain conjectured 
rightly that he would get no thanks for bringing the 
corpse to New Orleans, and had it brought out on 
the deck for burial, then and there. The sailors were 
struck by the peace, and purity of the boy's face, 
and the captain hesitated, when looking at it, about 
committing it to the water, but calling himself "an 
old fool" under his breath, he had the body sewed 
in an old sail, with a ten pound shot sewed in at the 
foot, and soon it was sleeping in the broad bosom 
of the Mississippi, until the Resurrection Day. 

Poor Jacques, no, not poor, but happy, blessed 
Jacques I Has not the Master Himself said it : 
"Blessed are ye that weep now; for ye shall laugh. 
Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you ; and 
cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's 
sake. Be glad in that day and rejoice, for behold 
your reward is great in Heaven." Surely if any one 
has earned the beatitude that comes from sorrow 
and humiliations it is the oppressed negroes and 
Indians of America. 

Toward the end of the afternoon the captain 
strayed in upon Mademoiselle again. Elise was 
soundly sleeping, and Mademoiselle sitting on a 
camp stool near her. The captain stood for a 



78 ELISE. 

moment, looking on the sleeping child. The traces 
of tears were still on her cheeks, the experiences of 
the last two days had told on her sadly, and as she laid 
on the captain's scarlet rug, she looked like a broken 
lily, thrown carelessly down upon it. The crucifix 
she had used for Jacques, was still pressed to her 
lips, as it la}^ on the rug as if she were holding 
it there. 

"Pretty child, pretty child !" said the captain, gaz- 
ing at her, "awful pious ain't she?" 

Mademoiselle assented. 

"Catholics, both of you?" 

Again a silent assent. 

"Now, I was born and eddicated down on Cape 
Cod, in Massachusetts, and was brought up firm i» 
the belief that Catholics were the very worst kind of 
folk, considerably wuss than the heathens ; butlH 
seen considerabul of em myself, sence I've beer- 
down here, and I think the pious ones are as good 
as any that goes. I like em to work for me bettern 
any others, but how any livin' creature in the name 
of common sense can believe, and do the things that 
Catholics do beats me. Excuse me, Marm, if I hurts 
your feelings, but that's the plain truth." 

"To what things do you refer?" said Madem- 
oiselle. "I think the Catholic Faith is rational. Per- 
haps what you have heard are stories made up by 
the enemies of the faith." 

"Wal, take, for instance, the doctrine of eternal 



ELISE. 79 

punishment. My father used to say, and he was a 
true blue old Calvinist, that only those few that God 
had elected for heaven could be saved, and that 
nine out of ten men were predestined for hell, and 
would burn there for all eternity. Now the elect 
ones got a change of heart, and were awful pious 
when it suited em to be ; but I didn't git one and 
had to conclude that I w^as among the reprobate. 
When I looked around among my friends, I told 
my father that I didn't know as I was very sorry ; 
for the reprobates were so much more agreeable 
than the elect, that I was sure of better company 
any how." 

Mademoiselle could not repress a smile. 

"Now, honest and true, marm, do you, in your 
heart of hearts, believe that a God of love, will 
force anybody, however much he ma}' have sinned 
here> to burn in dreadful torments forever and evei 
in hell? And that for a sin which it takes but a 
moment to commit He will punish with an eter- 
nity of torture?" 

" God destines no one, forces no one, wishes no 
one to be lost," said the governess, reverently. "If 
we are lost it is our own choice, not His. The 
Catholic Church has utterl}- condemned the Cal- 
vinistic doctrine of your forefathers, that men are 
elected for hell, but, oh ! sir," said the governess, 
earnestly, "as surely as there is a city of New 
Orleans, so surely is there that dreadful place 



8o ELISE. 

where men are deprived of the sight of God for all 
eternity, and are in dreadful torments." 

"I never before heard of any one choosing to go 
to hell," said the captain incredulously. 

"Are you sure of that?" said the governess. 
"Look at the poor drunken wretches you meet and hear 
of daily, committing the most dreadful crimes, and 
not only suffering themselves but causing also the 
innocent to softer. When you see such a man lost 
to all the self-respect which is necessary to make 
life tolerable, and unable to gain the esteem of 
others, which yet he longs for, is not such a one 
already in hell? As you see him lying in the 
gutter, or shambling through the streets with 
trembling limbs, aching body, and a dreadful, con- 
suming, fier}' thirst which draws him, and he 
knows it, farther and farther from life, light, and 
happiness, into that terrible outer darkness where 
'the fire is not quenched, and the worm dieth not,' 
is he not already near his condemnation?" 

" I expect he is ; marm, that's a fact." said the 
captain, soberly. 

"And would you say that God forced him into 
this state?" 

"No ;" rather reluctantly. 

"Would you say that such a state could become 
fixed?" she continued, "so there was no return?" 

"I wouldn't give much for the chance of reform 
for most of em," said the captain. 



ELISE. 8l 

Yet the Catholic Church teaches that is a heresy, 
and that, while he lives in the world, a man may 
turn bv the grace of God, and choose God and 
heaven, and free himself from the powers of dark- 
ness ; that with our gift of free will, we are 
entirely free to choose between light and darkness 
here, and we choose, though not free, hereafter." 

There was a little silence, while both gazed at 
the broad river, glittering in the sunlight. 

"And yet," continued Mademoiselle in a low, fer- 
vent voice, "degrading and horrible as the sins of a 
sensualist are, I would far rather take my place with 
them at the Judgment Da\^ than with the proud, 
selfish hypocrite, the Pharisee of our day, who looks 
out well for himself and crushes down his neighbor. 
Yet what am I to condemn others? Are we not all, 
within our souls, building either heaven or hell? 
What is making us bright, loving, and considerate 
with others, or hard, self-righteous and gloomy? 
God has made us for Himself, and apart from Him, 
there is no happiness." 

"Who, then, can be saved?" said the captain 
quoting unconsciously. 

" There is the comfort of Purgatory," said the 
governess. 

"Comfort I" exclaimed the captain, "I thought 
you believed that next door to hell and almost as 
had ; poor comfort I should call it." 

"We are taught," said Mademoiselle, "that only 



82 ELISE. 

those who are absolutely stainless from all sin, even 
those of thought, can go directly from this world to 
heaven, otherwise it would cease to be heaven. Is 
it not then a comfort to us poor sinners that there is 
made for us a place for purifying us, even though as 
by fire, from the sinful habits we have built up here? 
There is pain, we are taught, but there is joy 
and bliss far exceeding the pain in the knowledge 
which the soul gains at the particular judgment 
which comes immediately after death, that it is 
saved ; it then learns how beautiful and good is 
God Whom it is to enjoy forever and never offend 
again, and it knows the intense happiness of being 
safe from offending Him Who died to save us. I 
think it is the sight of this that brings the sweet 
smile of peace we see on the faces of the dead. 
When people talk of going from the taint and foul- 
ness of this earth into God's presence in heaven it 
only shows how very little they know of the ex- 
ceeding sanctity of God in Whose sight the 
angels are not pure." 

By this time Elise had risen and was standing by 
Mademoiselle, with her arm around the shoulder 
of her governess, looking at the captain with great, 
solemn eyes. 

"Come with me my pretty," said the captain, "and 
I will give you something nice." 

Elise was rather a reserved child with strangers. 
Mademoiselle was astonished to see her spring for- 
ward and take the outstretched hand. 



ELISE. 



83 



"You have given me much to think of, Marm," 
said the captain, and I thank you." Bowing 
politely, he walked off with the little girl clinging to 
his hand. 

Mademoiselle comprehended the child better, as 
she heard her pleading with the captain, "to go and 
see Father Lawrence when he got to New Orleans." 




CHAPTER VIII. 



RESURRECTION. 



It was a lovely summer morning in the Crescent 
City, not too warm as yet, for it was still early. A 
cool breeze was blowing off the water and came la- 
den with the perfume of sweet flowers into the office 
of M. Gabriel de la Roche. The office was a plea- 
sant room in itself, on the ground floor of what had 
been once an aristocratic mansion, but now it had 
fallen from its high estate, and was let out in 
offices for business men. The house was surround- 
ed still by a garden, protected from the public street 
by a high brick wall. The garden was yet carefully 
looked after, and cultivated, and the shade of a 
magnificent climbing rose, kept M. Gabriel's office 
cool and fragrant. 

He, however, did not seem to appreciate the 
spirit of the morning, and was plunged in the deep- 
est gloom and despondency. He sat tipped back in 
his chaii', his feet on the table, his hat drawn down 



ELISE. 85 

over his eyes, while he apparently studied the toes 
of his boots. The cause of this was h'ing open on 
the table before him : a telegram from F'ather Law- 
rence, which ran as follows : 

"Not found ; no hope ; will be with \'ou in the 
morning." 

"Most ridiculous," he soliloquized, ' 'they can't have 
flown away, or dissolved ; and yet the priest is not 
the one to give way to imaginary difficulties. How 
shall I telegraph her father?" 

A new fragrance of violets, and two little figures 
darkened the door : 

"All a growin, and ablowin!" sang the little 
one, exhibiting her flower basket. M. Gabriel 
did not move, but snarled an inarticulate response. 
The little flower-sellers ventured to advance nearer, 
and got a shout that sent them out of the otRce 
on the run. 

The next intruder was Father Lawrence himself 
and Mr. Gabriel rose to meet him with the anxious 
question in his e}'es. 

Father Lawrence shook his head sadly. "I fear 
there is no ground for hope," said he. 

"•\Vh\- do \-ou think so?" said M. Gabriel. "Sit 
down ; and tell me all about it." 

Father Lawrence sat down and began : 

"We went from here directly to Regalia, and 
found Mosb}' and his men still there. Most of them 
were drunk, but some were sober, who swore by all 



86 ELISE. 

in heaven and earth, that they had seen nothing of 
the child, and I think they told the truth ; we search- 
ed a little around the country but the telegrams had 
arrived there the day before and all had been look- 
ing for the child without avail, so we came slowly 
back ; stopping every two or three miles to inquire, 
but no one had seen them. We found traces of a 
camp, which might have been theirs, or not, we 
could not tell" — here he paused and M. Gabriel 
said : 

"Had you any reasons, which led you to think 
them drowned ?" 

"Yesterday, at noon, said Father Lawrence, open- 
ing his bag, one of the men fished out of the river this 
hat and this bundle. He drew out of his bag Jacque's 
hat, and a bundle tied up with a gray bandanna 
handkerchief; opening it, he showed a little grey 
traveling dress, with a broad hat and plumes, too 
easily recognized as belonging to Elise. 

"But how? why?" said M. Gabriel, bewildered. 

"We cannot tell, it must remain a myster}-, said 
the priest. 

M. Gabriel buried his face in hands. 

"My poor child ! my poor little girl I" he groan- 
ed. "Oh Father, for the love of God, take these 
things away, I cannot bear to see them, and come 
back this evening and tell me what to telegraph to 
her father, I must have time to think first." 

"God comfort and guide you." said Father Law- 



ELISE. 87 

rence, as with tender, reverent hands, he replaced 
the articles in his bag and left the office. 

"How can I telegraph Henri?" soliloquized the 
poor uncle. "What a message to meet him in New 
York, he will never forgive me for making him go 
on to New York. Her clothing done up in a bun- 
dle ! Why was that?" and the thought of his dear 
little niece in the hands of the guerillas caused him 
to bow his head in his hands, and groan aloud. 

Again two figures darkened the door of his office ; 
slightly glancing up, he saw two beggars, as he 
thought, standing in the door-way, 

"Nothing for you," he shouted savagely. 

What a relief to an aching heart is sometimes an 
outbreak of temper. 

The next minute he was nearly upset by a small 
figure springing into his arms, his hat knocked off, 
and himself nearly strangled by a pair of little arms 
around his neck, while rapturous kisses stopped his 
mouth. 

"Oh you bad, bad uncle, how could }'Ou greet me 
so 1" cried Elise reproachfully. 

Springing to his feet, he held her off at arm's 
length, gasping and staring at her and Mademoiselle. 
The revulsion of feeling was too much for him. He 
could only stammer. 

"Why ! why ! who I where I sweet mother I where 
did you drop from?" 

Then suddenly throwing her one side, he glanced 



88 ELISK. 

at the clock, then rushed to the sidewalk, and hailed 
a passing cab. The driver hesitated, wondering if 
the man was crazy, but M. Gabriel did not stop for 
explanations but ran back to the otiice and caught 
Elise bv the arm, shouting to the governess in an ex- 
cited tone : 

"Come, come quickly, there's barely time," and 
pulling them along, thrust them into the cab. 

"Double fares if you reach the New York boat in 
time," he shouted to the suspicious cab driver. The 
man understood that, and lashed his poor horses, as 
M. Gabriel jumped in, slammed the door after him, 
and finally turned and demanded an explanation. 

This forthcoming, he turned to Elise saying : 

"Well, dear child, you have come barely in time. 
Your stateroom and passage are engaged on to-day's 
steamer, and a friend of mine going to New York, 
has promised to see you safe in 3our father's arms." 

" Oh uncle I " she exclaimed, " I must have some 
clothes first." 

"Indeed, Monsieur, llie child cannot travel like 
this," remonstrated the goNcrness. 

"True." said he looking at her ruefull}'. She is 
in a state to be sure, and Father Law^rence carried 
off her clothes; but you see }-our father will be so 
disappointed, and I don't believe there will be an- 
other passenger boat through, until this accursed 
war is over. 

"Papa will be disappointed? Does he expect me 



ELISE. 8^ 

on this boat? Then I shall go I" said Elise, but as she 
glanced down on the torn, old wrapper, and at the 
little kid shoes, from which a naked toe protruded, 
her dark eyes filled with tears. 

" But, my dear," expostulated the dismayed 
governess. 

"Whyte has a child just about her age," said her 
uncle, "they will be sure to rig her out." 

Just then the}' drove down the wharf on the 
gallop; the last gong had sounded, "All aboard," 
and the men had started to pull in the gang plank; 
they hesitated at the sight of the cab, and M. de la 
Roche throwing open the cab door, seized the poor 
shrinking child, and passed her up on the deck to a 
tall gentleman, calling out at the same time: 

"Here she is, Whytc, just in time." 

Then springing back to the wharf, the gang plank 
was drawn in, and the steamer slid slowly out of her 
mooring. 

Poor little Elise : what shame are you bearing now, 
for the love of that dear Father ! There she stood on 
the deck the "observed of all observers." Her blue 
Mother Hubbard had been wet, soiled, and torn in 
her adventures, until it was nothing more than a 
dirty rag. The yellow sunbonnet, bereft of a string, 
hung limply around her face and was tied to one side 
of the cape. The little pink toes stuck out of the kid 
boots, which were not made for the usage they had 
lately recived. There she stood, alone, in the midst 



90 ELISE. 

of a crowd of fashionabl}' dressed people who had 
been attracted by the bustle of getting her on board 
in time, her head hanging down, her sweet face merci- 
fully hidden by the big sunbonnet, and so covered 
with shame and confusion that she could hardly 
see. 

M. Gabriel, with a great sigh of relief got back 
into the cab with Mademoiselle. She, filled with 
admiration at the courage and generosity of the 
brave child, resolved to follow her example, and 
directed him to drive her to the Convent of Mercy, 
resolved not to delay for a minute longer the follow- 
ing of her vocation. 

As they drove along, she related the story of their 
adventures, begged her companion to see the cap- 
tain of the packet, and attend to the fuueral of poor 
Jacques. M. Gabriel listened, with many an exclama- 
tion of surprise and thanksgiving, and left the gover- 
ness at the convent door, with a sum of mone}' in 
her hand that might well cover her with embarrass- 
ment. 

We, too, will leave them at the convent, for never 
again will their li\ es touch that of our little heroine 
in the course of the story which we are telling. 



CHAPTER IX. 



LUCILLE. 

We left our little girl standing among a crowd 
of passengers on the deck of the north-bound 
steamer, in a very pitiable condition, in the midst of 
the amused and curious glances of the passengers. 
Standing next the tall gentleman, to whose care she 
had been so unceremoniously committed, stood a 
fashionabl}' dressed lady with eyeglasses, and a little 
girl, about the age of Elise, with a French maid. 

The gentleman stared at Elise, aghast and dis- 
mayed, while his wife, for it was she who was near 
him with the glasses, fairly glared at her through 
them, and then turned to her husband for an explana- 
tion, with a look that made him quail. 

"Who is that person?" she said haughtih' "Do 
you know?" 

The gentleman fidgeted a little, looked about 
helplessly for protection, and finally said, nervously : 

"Well, really I don't know, I can't tell — I think it 
must be Mademoiselle de la Roche," 

"That I Mademoiselle de la Roche?" said the lady. 



92 ELISE. 

The child glanced up at her and then around her, 
she felt like a hunted animal surrounded by foes. 
But she bravely conquered the impulse to flv and 
hide herself anywhere, an3'\vhere, only to be alone ; 
and, swallowing the great lump in her throat, she said 
with quiet dignity : 

"Yes; I am Mademoiselle de la Roche, but I am 
a refugee, and have lost my clothes." 

This declaration, bi-ought forth a burst oflauu'hter 
from the bystanders, and Mrs. Whyte, with ill-con- 
concealed displeasure, motioned to her maid, and 
said : 

"Take the child below for 'goodness'" sake.' and 
try to make her presentable with any thing Gert- 
rude can spare." 

If Mrs. \Vh3-te was annoyed at the appearance of 
the child, imagine the wrath of Lucille, the maid, at 
having, as she remarked, "two young ones on her 
hands, instead of one to care for." 

Lucille was one of the worst of that justh' much 
abused class, French maids. Hardened and deceit- 
ful, as only a Catholic can l)e who has lost her 
faith and neglected her duty, brought up in a 
worldly atmosphere, bright and intelligent by 
nature, she soon learned how to please her lady — 
"to take the measure of her foot," as she expressed 
it — and to get along with as little to do as possible, 
and keep a fair outside. Out of temper alread}-, she 
was glad to meet with an object upon whom she could 



EIJSE 93 

safely vent her wrath. She gave the child a look 
that would have killed her, if looks could kill, and 
taking her by the shoulder, pushed her ahead down 
the cabin stairs. 

Gentleness itself, as long as she was under 
observation, but no sooner did they reach the cabin, 
than she gave Elise a shake and push, which nearly 
sent the poor child on her face. Elise recovered 
herself in great displeasure, and tried to walk in a 
stately and dignified manner, her blood boiling in 
her veins, and her little head high in the air. But 
it is not easy to be dignified, when one is getting a 
continual push from behind which forces one to run, 
to prevent one's self from falling. Reaching, at last, 
the door of the stateroom, the final push sent the 
child in, and down on the floor. 

Elise picked herself up, and, alas ! lost her 
temper. 

"How dare you treat me in this manner?" said she 
turning to Lucille, with a red light blazing from her 
eyes. 

"How dare I, is it," said Lucille, "Ell let you soon 
see how I dare. Ell let you know, too, that I wasn't 
hired to care for beggar brats like you. I advise 
you to make yourself mighty scarce and quiet, if you 
know on which side }-our bread is buttered or }-ou'll 
find yourself a pretty tame young'un before we get 
to New York. How dare I indeed ! You bold, sassy 
thing. Here get out of my way," and she gave the 



94 ELISE. 

poor child a box on the ear that sent her away, reel- 
ing from the stateroom trunk before which she was 
standing, and, in spite of the protecting sunbonnet, 
made her quite dizzy and sick. Stunned and 
bewildered, Elise stood passive and motionless, with- 
out a sound, while the woman unstrapped and 
opened the trunk. 

"Take oft" those rags," she hissed : Lucille always 
spoke in a low, often inaudible tone, never loud 
enough to draw attention from outside. "I'll have 
enough to do after the ship gets rolling, and every 
one gets sick, without looking after you." 

The child tried to obey, but was so frightened and 
agitated that her fingers shook, so that she made 
little progress, and when Lucille had laid out some 
pretty clothing and stood up to put it on, Elise had 
not yet succeeded in removing the unfortunate 
wrapper. With an exclamation of impatience the 
maid be<2"an to twitch it oft". 

"Cleaner than one would expect," was the com- 
ment. " But I'm not going to look after all this 
hair, so the quicker it's oft" the better." She lifted one 
of the heav\' braids, and drew a large pair of scissors 
from her side where they were hanging. 

"Don't you dare cut my hair," now fairly screamed 
Elise, "My papa will punish you, he will be very 
angry indeed with you." 

She pulled down the hand of the astonished maid, 
caught the shears from her, and threw them across 



ELISE. 95 

the state room through the open porthole, where 
they sank into the water. 

Lucille, now angered beyond all bounds, threw the 
fragile child into the berth, pressing her face into the 
pillow to prevent her screaming, seized the heavy 
trunk strap, and gave her a most cruel beating. 

There was no need of stifling her cries, for Elise 
was now very still and white. Frightened at 
last by the silence, the woman desisted, and Elise 
submitted to the rest of her toilet without a word. 
Lucille beginning to fear she had gone too far, let 
the hair alone, and when at last all was finished, she 
gave her a little push saying : 

"Be off now, and see if you hav^e learned to 
behave 3'ourself." 

Elise needed no second bidding ; she flew from her 
tormentor's hand, along the cabin and up the stairs. 

People were ever3'where. Oh I w^here should she 
find a spot where she would be alone? Along the 
deck she sped, and at last she found a little corner 
behind a life-boat, where she would be screened from 
observation. She threw herself down on an immense 
coil of rope, and buried her face in her hands. 

"Papa, papa I" she moaned, while the long, shud- 
dering sobs, shook her, convulsively, and the physical 
pain in her throat became almost unbearable. "Oh 
what shall I do ? what shall I do ?'" 

She felt the gentle pressure of a hand on her 
shoulder, as if in response, and a voice full of love, 
and sympathy which penetrated her heart said : 



g6 EiJSE. 

"My child, my poor child I what is grieving you 
so?" 

Starting up, full of shame at being discovered, she 
saw a nun, in the dress of a Sister of Mercy, gazing 
down on her with eyes full of tears of sympatlu' and 
pity. As Elise looked up, the nun held out her arms 
and Elise sprang into them, clinging to her new 
friend desperately and sobbing violently. 

Sitting down on the coil of rope, the Sister drew 
Elise down beside her, and pressed the child's head to 
her heart; the poor, lonely, little one felt a strange 
influence, a sensation of strength and comfort stealing 
over her; and was instantly cjuieted. The nun's 
companion walked a little outside the enclosure 
made by the life-boat, and seating herself at the 
entrance to keep out intruders, opened a book and 
began to read. When Elise had regained her self- 
control, the Sister by a few well-directed questions, 
drew the whole story from her. 

"I will never, never forgive her," said Elise spring- 
ing to her feet in excitement, her pale cheeks now 
scarlet, and her dark eyes flashing, "and Papa will 
have her discharged as soon as we get into New 
York." 

Without a word the nun drew the child down b}' 
her side and as Elise buried her head in the Sister's 
lap in a silent despair from her troubles, she felt the 
sympathetic tears drop on her head. 

"Oh, my Sister! how can I," she sobbed. 



ELISE. 97 

Still no answer, only the mute pressure of her 
head against the Sister's heart, and Elise saw before 
her mental vision, once more, that last dreadful night 
of the God-man on earth ; surrounded by the brutal 
soldiers in an underground cave ; the crown of thorns ; 
the eyes blindfolded ; the reed in His hand ; the 
coarse jeers, and taunts : ''and I — and I — who was 
going to be a saint;" she said in an undertone. 
Mutely she carried the nun's hand to her face, and 
kissed it : not a word was spoken but all was under- 
stood. Thev sat there a long time in silence look- 
ing out on the water. 

Suddenlv Lucille appeared before them. The com- 
panion Sister rose to let her pass. 

"My ladv wishes Mademoiselle de la Roche to 
attend her at dinner," she said with an obsequious 
smile and courtes}'. 

"Yes; I will come," said the child simply and 
rose directh' on her feet. She was rather white 
and unsteady, after her violent excitement and Sis- 
ter Felicitas, for so we may call her, arranged her 
dress with lox'ing little touches. 

"Ma}- I come back?" said the child, gazing be- 
seechinglv into her face. 

'•Bv all means," said the nun, with a smile, that 
brought hope and courage to the child's heart. 

Elise walked quietl)- along the deck after Lucille, 
her eyes were cast down, and she seemed hardly 
conscious of Lucillc's presence. When she reached 



98 ELISE. 

the stairs she stopped and turned around to see if the 
Sister were looking after her; she was, and smiled 
and nodded reassuringly ; the child went on with a 
radiant face. 

"What makes you look so happy?" said Lucille, 
curiously. 

"The Sister! " said Elise simply, " she and I are 
friends now, you know." 

Lucille looked at her wonderingly. She kept a 
little behind the child muttering to herself: 

" You better be cautious, Lucille, strange 
child this ; who knows what friends she'll make 
next, and the nun looked at me sharp enough, to 
be sure." 

They entered the long cabin where already the 
passengers were dining. Mr. Whyte had secured 
seats at the foot of the captain's table. The table 
was nearest the cabin door, and Mr. Wh}te was at 
the foot opposite the captain ; at his right hand sat 
his wife, with the two children directly opposite 
them, and at Mr. Whyte's left, were two young 
ladies who were returning to their home in New 
York after a tour South, with their uncle, a stout 
elderly gentleman, very precise and nervous. 
Lucille turned the saloon chair just below Gertrude 
Whyte for Elise, placed her in it, adjusting her nap- 
kin in the most motherly and solicitous manner, and 
then stood, deferentially, behind the two children to 
attend to their wants, never dreaming but that which 



ELISE. 99 

Mrs. Whyte whispered across the table, was any- 
thing more than was justly her due. 

"Perfectly invaluable, quite a treasure I assure 
you." 

Gertude Whyte was a very bright-looking child, 
with a kind and generous heart, but was ver)- much 
spoiled by the misfortune of being the only child of 
rich parents. She turned, and looked admiringly at 
Elise, as she sat down, and said : 

"How nicely you look in my dress." Then see- 
ing the tear-stained face, she added : "Has Lucille 
been scolding you ? Don't you mind, I never do. 
Just say you'll tell papa, and that stops her right 
away. / like you ever so much, and I like to have 
you wear m)^ things." 

"Thank you," said Elise rather faintly, and then, 
gazing on her intently asked: "Why do you like 
me?" 

"Oh I I'm sure I don't know," said Gertrude, 
composedly. "I always know if I'm going to like 
people and I'm going to make you my friend. I am 
going back north to school this year. You'd have 
something to cry for, if you were going to school." 

"Why don't you like it?" said Elise, "I always 
wished so much that I could go." 

"Just you try it, once," said Gertrude. "Did you 
know I kept a diary? Now I suppose you are not 
old enough to keep one. 

"I never had one," said Elise. 



lOO ELISE. 

"Can \-ou read mine?" .said Gertrude pulling a 
small sized book from her bag, which hung at her 
side. You know you are my friend and )'Ou ma)' 
if you want to. 

Oh; yes I" said Elise, "ma}' I?'' 

"Yes;" said Gertrude," and that will tell you how 
much I like to go to school. You see I got it at 
Christmas and I began to keep it on New Year's 
Day; but I haven't written anything in it for ex^er 
so long." 

The two heads bent together over the pages, and 
Elise read as follows : 

Jan. 1. — new Years da}', i am goat to kepe a ilair\ 
this } ear, my father says it will lielp vou in speling and 
langwidge to kepe a dairy but I dont see how it can help 
eny one when you can't liev it kerrected, and \ou can't 
hev it kerrected becos all youre seacrets are in it so 
Noliody must see it. the Girls in school all steel their 
dairvs from each other and rede them, the other one 
pretends she don't want you to -rede it an all the time 
shes jest dyin to hev you so you can tieze her about 
things. 

Jan. 2. i wisht i dident hev to go back to school. 

ime hevin fun no end. . . T came Over to my house 

today, we are going back together. 

J'^'i 3- got up this morniu, lied the tooth Ake. 
wisht i was dead, mamma sed i coiddnt hev eny More 
Candy while i was at home, an it wasnt the Cand\' 
gave it to me at all it was jest thinking of going Back to 
scliool. 



ELISE. lOI 

Jan. 7. I am back agen at school, the Girls are all 
here I couldnt kepe my dairy these last days because 
com in back hear and Every think we hed Fun las 
nite. ! ! ! 

Jan. . . . got up this mornin and went to mass the 
chapel was veiy pritty they Hed lots of flours an things 
i ges i got marked for lafin i doant care, so there ! ! 
i hate this old school and my father wanted Me to get a 
Distingwish this Month too they Can kepe there old 
Destingwish. 

Jan. . , . las nite me an T & w hed som 

sandvvitches and cokonut cakes an we dident know how 
to get out of the dormitory to eet them Rut we tride and 
the bords creek an Sister got up an Kought us. i gess she 
gave us about 50 offen an she tuk all the things an said she 
wud give them to the jDOore and we hev to go to the 
Punish Class ! 

Jan. ... i gess we're gon't to hev our retreet by 
ourselves becos we Distracted the yong Ladys last year, 
it won't be eny fun. M — rote Me a note at Study 
houi^e and Sister tuke it. she's too smart ennyways she 
always nos every think, i think she red the note becos 
she kinder laffed. 

Jan. . . . we were Skatin an T fell down jest 

when she was try in to show off Becos Sister wos in the 
winda lookin out inie glad of it shes too smart i mean 
T is. 

Jan. . . . the perfessor was jest as cross as he could 
be to-day an he mad Us sing One thing about a hundred 
times Over an he sed he couldent incert the pointer 
between my teeth ! jest as if ennybody cud sing with a 



I02 ELISE. 

mouthful of pointer ! ! ! i hate singin anyhow my 
father sed if Anybody could listen to me trying to sing 
she must have good nerve, i gess the perfessers nerves 
are alwright. 

Feb. . . . retreet is over an we hed the best one an 
now ime goin to be good becos i sed i wud we hed 
twilite talks an every^ thing the young ladys hed only 
Ours wos better an i wisht we didn't hev to go in 
with them eny more. 

Feb. . . . lost my destingwesh again i doant care 
ime never Goin to try agen as long as i live i only 

jest put the dust brush in R 's bed & when her feat 

got agenst it she screached and Sister ast who did it an i 
sed i did and then she marked me. . . . she likes to 
mark me any how She takes every chance she gets." 

Here Lucille interrupted, and insisted on the 
attention of the children to their dinner. In the 
meantime their elders were also too much engaged 
in conversation to notice them. With an exclama- 
tion of admiration, Elise gave back the little book 
and vainly tried to eat. 

"By the way !" said Mr. Whyte to the stout gentle- 
man, "did you know that we have a Catholic priest 
on board and a Jesuit too, I believe." 

"No !" said the old man in an agitated tone, "may 
the Lord preserve us !" and he looked reproachfully 
at the captain, "but one cannot prevent it, they are 
everywhere, everywhere." 

" Fine men, fine men ;" said the captain, " I often 
get one from their college in New Orleans, or from 



ELISE. lOJ 

the missions down the coast. This one is Father 
Grey from BeHse, British Honduras, I know him 
well. He is returning to England, you will hear 
him preach next Sunday, and you will like him, 1 
think." 

The ladies looked pleased and interested, but the 
old gentleman said : 

"God forbid!" most fervently, and turning toward 
the VVhytes, said in a confidential tone across the 
table : 

"If I had known there was a Jesuit on board, I 
would not have come even though my tickets were 
taken, and this the last passenger boat. Do you 
know that I discovered at our boarding house in 
New Orleans, that the very boy who brought the 
milk was a Jesuit, and I warned the lady of the 
house, but she would not listen to me." 

" Oh! no;" she said, "you must be mistaken. I 
have known his mother many years, and she is a 
most respectable woman." 

"And by that same," said the old gentleman in an 
agitated tone, "I knew she was a Jesuit too." 

"A woman Jesuit I said Mr. Whyte astonished, 
"are there such things as female Jesuits?" 

"Plenty of them," said the old gentleman earnestly, 
"plenty of them, and they are everywhere. As to 
the captain," sinking his voice to a whisper, and 
winking mysteriously, "I felt it from the first, I shall 
watch him, we don't know what his plans are." 



104 ELISE. 

Here the steamer gave a sudden lurch, which sent 
the dishes sHding, and caused another laugh, but as 
the pitching motion kept up, after this the laugh 
subsided, and many grew suddenly sober. The old 
gentleman got very white, excused himself, and left 
the table. 

Elise who had eaten nothing, but was trying to 
taste her soup, became so pale as to alarm Lucille, 
who, after a few whispered words to Mrs. Whyte 
turned the child's chair, removed her napkin, and 
led her across the cabin, tenderly. When outside 
she gave her a little shake, saying : 

"Go up now, and stay with the nuns, and don't 
come near me with your sickness, unless you want 
as good as you got this morning, and more of it." 

Then she turned and left her with a look of intense 
aversion. The child was at the foot of the cabin 
stairs, she caught the railing of the stair-case, and 
clung to it. 

"What a dreadful thing is sea-sickness," said 
one of the young ladies. " Poor uncle ! he will 
have to watch the captain from his berth the rest 
of the voyage; he firmly beUeves that all the 
world are Jesuits, and that they have but one object 
in life, which is our conversion. Will you see how 
the passengers drop out? You will see me follow- 
ing them soon. Last time we went up, I was afraid 
I was going to die, and then I rapidl}' became 
afraid that I wasn't, and offered my sister all my 



ELISE. 105 

worldly goods and chattels if she would throw me 
overboard." 

Truly of all ills which are not generally considered 
dangerous, sea-sickness is the worst and the one for 
which you receive the least sympathy. As one 
has said : 

"You walk along the cabin, having nothing 
stationary to compare yourself \vi,.h, are not consci- 
ous of much motion, when suddenly you find your- 
self apparently weighing six hundred pounds, and 
your feet so heavy, that you can hardly lift them 
from the floor. This is bad enough, but the next 
moment is much worse, when you find yourself light 
as a feather, your gait very uncertain, quite unable 
to put your foot where you want to, and oh ! oh ! 
such a dreadful, intolerable, 'goneness' on each side 
of your stomach, just above your hips; the lines 
from each side of your nose to your mouth grow 
sharp and pronounced, a blue color begins to shade 
your face, here and there. If you lie down, that 
dreadful feeling — which, perhaps, 'goneness' very in- 
adequately expresses — comes back, whenever the 
vessel sinks. If you are wise, you go on deck, where 
the fresh, salt air seems to harden you, better to sit 
there, even in a drenching rain, rather than go 
down to the misery, and smells below. Most 
people, however, go to their berths, and there, night 
and day, make that dreadful sound, half way between 
a cough and a roar. 



io6 



ELISE. 



Words won't express the feelings, however, and I 
■don't know that I ever saw a more truly miserable, 
pitiable, woe-begone creature, than a sea-sick man, 
or woman." 




CHAPTER X. 



THE JESUIT. 

Our little girl continued clinging to the balusters, 
quite unable to see or walk. She was talking to 
herself a little : 

"How queer I feel, if some one would onl}- help 
me a little to go to the Sisters. Perhaps I am going 
to die now, like Jacques, and Gertrude, but I must 
not die until I get to New York for papa would be so 
sorry." 

Suddenly she found herself lifted in the strong 
arms of the captain. 

"What is the matter little one? I fear the sea is 
treating you very shabbily," said he. 

"Will you take me to the Sisters, please? "she 
said faintly, and her head dropped on his shoulder. 

"The two nuns !" said the captain, rather alarmed, 
"I wonder where I shall find them?" 

"I think I can find them, captain," said a voice 
behind him, — "and lean relieve you of your burden 
if you will permit me?" 



I08 ELISE. 

It was the much-dreaded Jesuit, who had been 
watching Lucille and Elise, and now came forward 
to offer liis services. 

"Eh I Father?" said the captain ; "is the little one 
one of your flock, then?" 

"I think she must be," said Father Grey, "are 
you not, my child?" 

"Yes ; Father," said Elise confidently, and then 
closing her eyes again, as the deadly faintness over- 
came her. 

Greatly touched, Father Grey took her from the 
captain, and carrieci her up the stairs, and soon came 
upon the two nuns seated in a quiet spot with work 
and reading. 

Father Grey was an Englishman, very tall and 
thin, with a decided stoop in his shoulders, caused 
by long study; with dark blue, penetrating eyes, very 
deeply set, which seemed to read your soul. As he 
came up to the nuns bearing the child in his arms, 
they arose, and Sister Felicitas with her sweet, low 
voice, full of concern, said : 

"Why, Father you have brought back our little 
girl to us, is she ill?" 

"It is well there was some one to bring her back," 
said he, rather sternly, supposing her under the care 
of the Sisters. "I found her carried by the captain, 
where she had fainted at the foot of the stairs." 

A kind lady passenger offered a steamer chair and 
rugs, which Sister Felicitas, quickly and deftly 



ELISE. 109 

arranged for the child, who gratefully sank back in 
them, looking so white that the nuns were alarmed.. 

"Do not mind," said Elise, smiling up at Sister 
Felicitas, "I shall be better now." 

"How did she happen to be left so alone?" said the 
Father. 

Her story was quickly told to the sympathetic 
priest, who amazed, and deeply interested could 
hardly credit it. 

"Who is the Jacques of whom she speaks?" said he. 

"I am sure I don't know," said the Sister ; " I do not 
think she knows anyone on board but the Whytes, 
and ourselves. She may have been a little wander- 
ing." And she looked anxiously at her little charge 
who was gazing dreamily at the clouds, paying no 
attention to anyone around her. 

"Well," said Father, "look after her now, and 
leave her no longer to the tender mercies of the 
wicked." 

Sister Felicitas sat down by Elise and began bath- 
ing her head with cologne, proffered by the same 
charitable hand that gave the chair — God bless 
them, they are always there — and soon had the satis- 
faction of seeing her fall into a deep sleep. 

Not long after, Lucille appeared and stood looking 
at the sleeping child with a singular expression ot 
aversion and fear. 

"My lady sent me to look after the child," said 
she. 



no ELISE. 

"I am sure you must have much to do," said 
Sister Felicitas. "Do you think Mrs. Whyte 
would leave the child in our care for the voyage." 

"You are most kind, my Sister," said Lucille 
eagerly, "and my lady will be greatly obliged ; she 
is down in her berth now ; and is safe to stay there 
till we reach New York ; between her and Miss 
■Gertrude I am nearly run off my feet, let alone a 
strange child like that, who has the most fearful 
temper of any child I ever saw, and would not 
think twice of pushing one overboard when she gets 
in a rage." 

Sister Felicitas glanced at the maid, with a look 
that caused her to cast down her eyes and turn 
scarlet. 

"You may tell your lady," she said, "that if she 
will entrust the child to our care, she need have no 
further anxiety for her through the voyage." 

"Thanks, my Sister," said Lucille more humbly, 
"I will put some of Miss Gertrude's clothes for her in 
her stateroom, number fourteen, next yours." 

She then courtesied, and walked off, muttering to 
Tierself : 

" Lucky thing for you Lucille ; the less you have 
to do with that youngster the better for you in this 
world, or the next. How the nun looked at me to 
be sure. I suppose the child told her everything. 
The baby looked so white, asleep in that chair, she 
jnight as well have been in her coffin. I'm afraid 



ELISE. Ill 

that old strap left its marks behind it. Good 
enough for her — I wonder if I shall get whacked for 
beating children, down below?" 

The prospect was not a pleasant one to contem- 
plate, and, to distract her mind, Lucille sought out a 
friend she had made of the stewardess, and together 
they consoled themselves in a corner over a little 
glass of "Eau de vie" and a gossip over the troubles 
of this life in general and their own in particular. 




CHAPTER XI. 



THE SAILOR. 



When Elise awoke the sun was far down in the 
West. The water of the gulf was of a deep indigo 
blue, and was chopped into small waves by a brisk 
land breeze, with occasional white caps. Land was 
in sight on the left, a rocky coast, deeply indented 
with bays and inlets. The rocks looked very dark, 
but over all a light haze was forming, which softened 
and glorified the atmosphere, as the rays of the setting 
sun shone across the water, turning all things red. 
In the far distance were rising hills wath an occasion- 
al group of stately palms, while soft white clouds, 
now tinged with crimson, floated in the distant horizon. 
In spite of the breezes there was a soft enervating 
feeling in the air, of the calm night, which gave one 
a great disinclination to move, as the boat swiftly 
sped its way northward. 

The nuns had finished their Office, and were talk- 
ing earnestly together in low tones, v^'hen they were 



ELISE. 113 

Startled by Elise touching Sister Felicitas on the 
shoulder, and saying eagerly : 

"We must go down, there is a soul on the lower 
deck who needs your help." 

"My dear child," said the Sister, "what do you 
mean? You have been asleep, and dreaming." 

The child stood by the sister's side, and now took 
her hand, with a pleading, earnest look in her dark 
eyes, and intense face. She .had grown ver}^ thin, 
and pale within the past few weeks. One could only 
see the soul striving to escape from the body, which 
looked too transparent, and ethereal to hold it long. 
She pulled at the Sister's hand, and drew her forward 
saying : 

"Oh, come I there is but little time." 

The Sister, now thoroughly alarmed for her little 
charge, thought best to humor her and allow her to 
lead them down, intending to take her to the state- 
room if she was as ill as she feared. Elise, still 
clinging to the nun, went down stairs to the lower 
deck, and then aft, till they came to a little cabin 
built on the deck. Elise went directly up to this, 
and tried to open the door, but the captain who was 
standing near and watching her with much surprise 
and curiosity, now interfered, and said : 

"Passengers are not allowed in there, little lady." 

"Oh yes;" said the child raising her dark, plead- 
ing eyes to his face, "the sick man needs Sister, 
please do let us go in." 



114 ELISE. 

"Have you been in there before?" said the captain 
amazed. 

"No, no ; I saw him in there when I was coming 
up the stairs," said the child, now all in a quiver of 
impatience. "He wants to see the Sister, and there 
is but little time." 

The captain looked inquiringly at the nuns. 
Sister Felicitas said very quietly : 

"I do not know what she means, but I fear she 15 
very ill. I think I had better take her to her state- 
room." 

"Oh ! no, Sister dear, indeed I am not ill, the man 
in there wants you truly and really, just open the 
door, please captain, and you will see." 

"Well" said the captain slowly, "there certainly 
is a sick sailor in there. I don't know whether he is 
a Catholic, or not, but if you ladies will honor him 
with a visit, you are most welcome to do so. I will 
just look in first, and see if all is in order." 

He stepped inside the door, and soon came out, 
leaving the door open behind him, and bowing the 
nuns permission to enter. 

On a low cot la}^ a tall, very attenuated man, with 
a red bandanna handkerchief around his head. He 
had a snow-white beard which nearly covered his 
face. His dark eyes glittered from under the folds 
of the handkerchief, as he saw the nuns standing in 
the door. 

"Well; what is it? What do you want in here?"' 
he asked in sharp, querulous tones. 



ELISE. 115 

Sister Felicitas made no answer, but stepped into 
the cabin, and seated herself by the side of his cot on 
a Httle camp stool. 

"G'vvay from here, I don't want to see the likes 
of you, I won't be pestered about religion. Go, go; 
I tell yer !" 

The nun laid her hand on his arm, and said some- 
thing to him in a low tone. Her companions saw 
him turn toward her with a look of wonder, and 
gaze at her intently, and satisfied with that, they 
turned away. 

We would have liked long ago to have described 
Sister Felicitas, but could find no words. Her great 
charm and influence over others lay in that which is 
unseen and indescribable, a grace which caused her 
Sisters to say that her presence could be felt, when 
she entered a room, without seeing her. Her eyes, 
not often seen, were grey-blue Irish eyes, and could 
express all she wished to say, without speaking ; not 
observing eyes, though little escaped their notice, but 
loving, sympathetic eyes, which drew every heart to 
come to her with its burden of sorrow. As Faber 
has said of our Blessed Lady : 

"They were every where, but in her own miseries.- 
They were lor everyone except herself. There 
seemed no effort about it. It was her way. It 
came natural to her because she behaved with grace, 
as if it really was a nature to her. As the moon 
reflects the light of the sun, without the least trouble 



I 1 6 ELISE. 

to herself, and beautifies the earth without any ex- 
ertion, so Mary reflects God, and gives light and 
shine without effort, ahiiost unconsciously, as if it 
were simply her business to be luminous and 
beautiful, and no wonder in it at all." 

So also with our Sister. She lived a mortified life of 
love and entire self-forgetfulness. "A true Religious, 
and consequently a perfect lady," said one of her 
who knew her well. Outwardly she was tall, very 
thin, graceful in her movements, which were quick 
but extremely quiet. One on whose frail shoulders 
all laid their burden and went away with new 
courage, and strength in their hearts, for the battle 
of life. Sister Louise, her companion, as soon as 
she saw that the sailor was not likely to harm 
Sister Felicitas, turned to Elise, and said : 

"Come now, you and I will help her with our 
beads." 

Up and down the deck they paced in front of the 
cabin. The nun hiding her rosary under her big 
sleeves and saying the prayers in a whisper so as 
not to attract attention, begging aid from her of 
whom "Never was it known that anyone appealed in 
vain." 

Then sitting down on a bench outside the door, 
they waited for Sister Felicitas to appear. The 
■door of the cabin was partly open, and they could 
see that the sailor held the crucifix in hand, but his 
face was hidden from them by the Sister's veil. 



ELISE. 117 

After a time however, Sister Felicitas turned and 
appeared at the door. Tears were on her cheeks, but 
her face was radiant with solemn joy. 

"Go, dear, and call Father Grey," she said to 
Elise, "he is ready for his confession." 

Elise needed no second bidding, she went off 
like an arrow to find the Jesuit Father. 

The two nuns sat down on the bench again, and 
Sister Felicitas turned to Sister Louise saying : 

"Oh, my Sister, the joy of leading a soul from 
darkness and misery to light and peace, what jo}' 
can equal it in this world? And that it should be 
given to such as we." 

"Is he then repentant?" said Sister Louise. 

"Oh, yes, truly and deeply repentant, and only 
anxious to make reparation for the past." 

"Will he then li\'e to do so?" inquired Sister 
Louise. 

"No, the finger of death is already imprinted on 
his countenance, he has but a short time, not many 
hours, I should say. We must pray for him that 
his faith fail not. Poor man, he has had great 
trouble and sorrow." 

"How strange;" said Sister Louise, "that Elise 
should know anything about him. She seemed too 
faint to see anything when the Father brought her 
up the stairs." 

"She has a quick eye, and loving heart for all 
in trouble, I think," said Sister Felicitas. "Here 



Il8 ELISE. 

she comes to tell us herself," as Elise came along 
the deck leading Father Grey by the hand. She 
took him to the door of the cabin, and he went in 
closing the door behind him. 

"So you found the Father?" said Sister Felicitas, 
as Elise came up to them. 

Elise sat down by her side, and before answering, 
laid her head on her shoulder, possessing herself of 
the Sister's hand, which she held tightly between 
her own. 

"Oh yes, my Sister, he was talking to some of 
the passengers, but he was not vexed with me for 
interrupting him, only so surprised and he came 
right along." 

"The captain says that 'he can always tell a 
Jesuit from the other priests, and his chief reason 
is, that he speaks to every soul on board the ship, 
before the voyage is over,' " laughed Sister Louise. 
Elise now looked so pale and exhausted that 
Sister Felicitas begged her companion to get some 
beef tea for her from the stewardess. After she had 
gone, the Sister turned to the child and said : 

"When did you see the sick man, dear?'' 

Elise looked a little confused and said : "I hardly 
know, my Sister, I think I must have seen him 
when Father Grey brought me up stairs, and then — 
then, I supposed I dreamed ; for I thought he was 
sinking in the water, and when I tried to go to him, 
I could not stir, and on looking up, I saw a most 



ELISE. 119 

lovely angel at my side who pointed to you : then 
the next thing I remember, I was teasing you to 
come down stairs to him. 

"Was it my Angel Guardian, do you think, 
Sister?" 

"I think it might be," said the Sister quietly. 

"Then I have seen him, I always wanted to see 
him. Oh ! I wish he would come again, and stay 
longer, so I could really see just how he looks." 

"He is always with you, you know, my child, 
and when your spiritual eyes are opened, you will 
no doubt see him and rejoice with him over one 
more soul saved through his warning," said Sister 
Felicitas, who gladly welcomed the stewardess 
bringing a cup of hot beef tea. She was accom- 
panied by Sister Louise, who held the cup, and 
persuaded the child to drink it. 

The deck on which the cabin was built was 
appropriated to the steerage, and the younger of the 
steerage passengers began to assemble there to enjoy 
the lovely moonlight. They were getting rather 
noisy now ; and their mirth was of a questionable 
character, when they were astonished by the ap- 
pearance of the nuns amongst them. 

Sister Louise had a little talk with them, and lind- 
ing that many of them were Catholics, asked Sister 
Felicitas to tell them about the sailor who was dying 
so near. 

She did so in such a simple, pathetic manner that 



I20 ELISE. 

all were touched, many were in tears, and she 
finished by asking them to join in singing the 
Litany of Loretto for him. 

The lassies were quite ready, but the lads were 
shy and beginning to steal off, while the Sister was 
teaching them a simple air ; but when they began 
to sing, the clear soprano of the young voices, to 
which Sister Louise struck in thirds, sounded so 
sweetly that all were fain to stay and listen, and 
finally to join, until a strong, yet low and sweet 
chorus seemed to fill the air, and attract many 
listeners. 

The ship glided along as smoothly as if in a river, 
through the soft bloom of the summer moonlight, 
and gave one the sensation of gliding off into space. 

Before they had finished Father Grey joined them 
with a clear, sweet tenor. 

When the Litany was over, in obedience to a 
motion of the Father's hand, all knelt, and the 
Father said : 

"Your prayers are requested for the repose of a 
soul which has just departed," and then began the 
Rosary for the Dead. 

As they rose from their knees. Sister Felicitas 
said to him : 

"I did not think it w^ould be so soon." 

"Yes," said the Father, "and in peace." 

"Deo Gratias," said the nun fervently, and they 
separated for the night. 



CHAPTER XII. 



MISSIONS. 



A Sunday morning at sea. A quietness in the 
atmosphere, unknown on ordinary days. A peace 
in the depths, of the blue sky, over which Hght white 
clouds floated calmly. A lovely summer morning to 
read and dream on the deck, and yet nearly all 
were assembled in the main saloon, who were not 
obliged, by duty, to be elsewhere, and the few 
who chose the smoking room and cards by prefer- 
ence. The loveliness of the sky and ocean round, 
might well have drawn the hearts of all to learn 
something of the Creator of it all, but alas ! "Hav- 
ing eyes, they saw not," and to man^^ it was to 
be their last day on earth. 

The Jesuit Father was seated on a low platform 
at the end of the dining saloon, placed in front of a 
sideboard. The children of the passengers were 
sitting at his feet, some at the edge of the platform, 
and others on hassocks. Round the door and on 
either side of the platform were the officers, a few 
sailors, and the stewards ; while the revolving chairs 



122 ELISE. 

and stationan' seats round the cabin were filled by 
the passengers. Father Grey had already won the 
hearts of many, all were eager to hear what he had 
to say, and so perfect order and silence prevailed. 
Even the children listened attentively. 

The Father spoke sitting, in an easy conversational 
tone without any effort. The throb of the engine 
and lapping of the waves against the sides of the 
ship keeping up a kind of monotone to his words. 
The port holes were open on both sides of the ship, 
and the soft summer breeze blew gently through. 
It was a time and scene which were indelibly en- 
graved on the hearts of some present to the end of 
their lives. 

"The Captain tells me, m}' friends," said Father 
Grey, "that you are kind enough to wish to hear 
something of our missions down the coast of Central 
America, and of the natives there. I have been liv- 
ing among them for the past few years, and I shall 
be glad to tell you about them, if b}' that means, I 
may perhaps gain friends for them among the kind 
and generous hearts of those whom God has given 
a happier lot. 

"We will suppose you have taken a steamer at 
New Orleans for the purpose of visiting our Caribs. 
You have had a lovely journey down the Carribean 
Sea by moonlight, such as it was last evening, 
moonlight that Northerners never dream of. A 
soft insinuating breeze has made the deck just the 



ELISE. 123 

place for a laze, but this is interrupted finally by the 
boat pulling up, and whistling emphatically. You 
see some lights on the shore. There is some wait- 
ing which the captain fills up with remarks of an un- 
complimentary nature about somebody or other. 
Long after the sailors have seen it, you discover a 
black boat, with two black men, shooting through 
the black water, by means of paddles, canoe fashion. 
You go down the steps, and are directed by : 
"Please step into the middle of the boat, sir." 
"It is a dugout, and with some trepidation you 
make for the shore. We suppose a quiet night 
otherwise, as you near the shore small breakers, 
shipping water, much baling, alternated with pad- 
dling, but even if you upset — which you don't — you 
will, after an ineffectual attempt to swim, conclude to 
get up and walk as many have already done. The 
water gets rough only when the shelving sandy shore 
is reached, which, though a long distance from land, 
is not more than three or four feet deep, at the 
deepest, and, thanks be to God, no sharks where 
there is sand. 

"You will be impressed with our Caribs from the 
first. Their manner is, at once, that of old family 
servants with an addition of sweetness of disposition, 
confidence, and fun, combined with a most flattering 
respect. You find the home adapted to letting in 
all the fresh air possible. Rooms are separated by 
great Venetian shutters like the blinds of bell towers ; 



124 ELISE. 

dreadfully discouraging to the discussions of people's 
characters. 

"The next morning out on the veranda, the sea 
before you is of a mild sort, sparkling almost in- 
tolerably and with no true ocean swell ; the reason 
is before you. On the horizon some thirty or forty 
miles away, are low lines of cocoanut trees. It is 
the quays : and beyond the line another coral reef, 
without any, but a few narrow breaks. 

"No wonder navigation is difficult, until you get 
inside this barrier, and that these parts were the 
favorite homes of the buccaneers. We will suppose 
this day is our biggest festa — the christening of a 
dory I — You will have observed that for two or 
three miles, the shore is set thick and irregularly 
with cabins. These are thatched with long plumes 
of the Colume Palm, wattled sides, raised floors of 
pounded clay, and all as neat as can be. 

"Cocoanut trees cluster everywhere. Well, in 
full sight, for your benefit, is a new dory, — a boat 
carved from a single trunk. The proud captain has 
spent some half a year, a hundred miles down the 
sea coast cutting it out. He has had as assistants 
camping with him, Felix Augustine — whom he had 
helped before in cutting his dory — Jean Narcisso, 
his brother, Agnes Obiseo, his brother-in-law, Mag- 
dalena Morales, and Francisco Catalena — for some 
other reason — camping with him. They have been 
working very hard, and desire a festa. So the 



ELISE. 125 

boat is decked with all the flags and handkerchiefs 
that can be mustered. The captain receives the 
flag from Matilda Polycarpo, the matrita, or god- 
mother to the new dory, the Melinda — I take real 
names all through. The captain is the only man on 
this occasion and he takes the flag, followed by a 
swarm of young maidens in holiday attire. Sails 
are set, and off they go beyond the quays, that the 
new dory may smell the blue. They spend most of 
the days at the quays in games and general picnics. 
Later on crowds are at the beach to greet their 
return. As they approach, sails are furled and every 
maiden seizes her paddle, sends the boat flying to 
the shore singing the song "La ! la I la I" sacred to 
this occasion ; as it really gets near, the whole 
crowd tumbles "pell meH"into the water, by the way 
of putting a festal gilt edge on the whole thing. 
The flag is then restored to the "Matrita" and she 
leads the way to the magnificent feast she has 
been cooking the whole day. 

"Late in the night you will hear a deep, dull throb : 
"Tub, tub, tub." A dance is going on. A "pas de 
seul," however, as it is done entirely by the men 
and only one at a time, the rest participate by ad- 
miration only. The dance consists of an almost 
miraculously complicated St. Vitus dance in legs 
ankles, and toes, all in one spot, terminating with a 
rapid pirouette. The latter is the acme of art, and 
the boys practising it — the only dancing I have 



126 ELISE. 

seen — in\ariabl)- go over at that part. It is il- 
lustrative of the conservatism of the Caribs, that al- 
though they are passionately fond of music, have 
remarkably sweet voices, and sing accurately what- 
ever you teach them, far quicker than Europeans, 
and that although they have for many generations 
seen the graceful Spanish dancing, yet they still 
cling to the immemorial traditional native ball that 
I have described. Whether the tradition is Indian 
or African, no one knows. I am forgetting, though, 
what the Caribs never forget, the blessing of the 
Padre which precedes all this. 

"On the other side of the river is a man-o'-vvar 
town, and if you stand on the bridge on Saturdays, 
you may see a pretty sight, the whole female part 
of the settlement out washing. Our river empties 
into the sea through a sandy coast and its mouth is 
consequently full of spits and shallows of sand. The 
wash-tub used here is a small, shallow trough on 
four high legs. There are as many as a thousand 
women and girls in the bright sunlight and glitter 
all chattering and washing the bright red and many 
colored clothes; sand and sea glittering and spark- 
ling. It is a much gayer scene than at Trouville, 
Biarritz, and other French places which artists are 
always sketchirg. 

"Perhaps, another day you would see the landing 
of cattle from a vessel. This is a great trial to our 
poor Caribs. The process is simple. The beast is 



ELISE. 127 

hoisted out of the hold and dropped into the water, 
then some men hi a dory catch the halter, and keep- 
ing the head out of the water, paddle with difficulty 
toward shore. The animal resigns itself complete- 
ly and floats anyhow, on its side or any other way, 
until it is made to feel the sand under its feet, when 
it promptly exerts itself, and gives trouble. There 
is an extra amount to our Caribs, who don't mind 
snakes and tigers in the least, despise sharks in a way 
that makes me strongly suspicious that we giv^e alto- 
gether too much respect to these animals, and really 
joy in a hurricane or cyclone ; but are decidedly 
afraid of cows and horses to which the}' are not 
accustomed. They tempt them into the right w^ay 
by respectfull}' and cautiously poking at them with 
long poles. I was once earnestly warned by a little 
Carib child not to pursue a path I was taking, 
because a very weak and aged horse was grazing 
some fort}- feet from it. 

"Our Caribs are not ambitious ; they work enough 
to get a living, and are generous to the Church, but 
have no notion of being rich. May God keep them 
so I Their regime is very strict, none can marry 
without leave. Grown up men and women must 
mind their parents, and take their scoldings on their 
knees. They elect their own alcades, and no dif- 
ferences or business ever comes before a white judge. 
They allow no interference in these matters, even 
from a priest. It is wonderful how they draw the 



128 ELISE. 

line, for in matters of religion, they are remarkably 
obedient and submissive. 

"The life of a missionary in the tropics is that of 
a martyr. First he must meet the trial of extreme 
loneliness and complete isolation from all congenial 
society, and surroundings. His journeyings from 
mission to mission must be done under the fierce 
rays of a tropical sun, in leaky canoes or dugouts, 
exposed to great heat for hours, in calms, or'adverse 
winds. On the coast, where most of our missions 
are situated, he is subject to constant attacks of mal- 
arial fever, and strange to say, pneumonia, of which 
many of the Caribs die. "Why, then," do you say, 
"not go on horse back, or on foot?" Simply because 
there are no roads, and a path must be cut through 
the thick undergrowth before one can make a 
step in advance through the countr}'. One thing 
my friends, you can easily do, which brightens 
greatly the missionary's life. Where there is only a 
weekly mail, or even less, a periodical, or paper 
from the outside world, seems to the lonely mis- 
sionary a connecting link with civilization, and gives 
a greater pleasure than one can imagine who has 
not been thus isolated. Take an imaginary glance 
at all those who are toiling, and daily sacrificing 
their lives, from Alaska down to the southernmost 
point of South America — yes in Africa, the Indies, 
Corea, China, the soldiers fall daily, but they close 
up ranks and march on. Martyrs have never been 



ELISE. 129 

wanting in the Church, and the present generation 
has seen as many as any. My children what will 
you do?" 

The missionary paused, and there was a great 
stillness in the cabin. Elise had been gradually 
drawing nearer, and now laid her hand on his. He 
looked down at her, and was startled at the earnest 
intelligence of her gaze. At a signal from him a 
lad)- at the piano began St. Francis Xavier's hymn, 

My God I love Thee not because 
1 hope for Heaven thereby — 

All joined heartily, and to many besides Elise was 
that Sunday the beginning of a devoted life. 




CHAPTER XIII. 



A FALLEN STAR. 

Slster Felicitas was awakened in the middle 
of the night, by a cold little hand laid on hers. It 
was Elise, whose state-room communicated with that 
of the nun's by an inside door. 

"Sister," she said with perfect calmness, "you 
must get up, and dress immediately, there is 
danger." 

"Dear child," said the nun taking her hand, "how 
cold you are ; you have been dreaming ; all is well. 
Go back to your berth- again, and I will be in pres- 
ently to see you, if you are frightened." 

"I am not afraid. Sister," said the child, "but in- 
deed ! you must hasten. Please, Sister, get up 
quickly." She spoke in the same intense earnest- 
ness, that she had used at the sailor's cabin door. 

"Really, Sister," said a voice from the upper berth, 
you are spoiling that child. Do send her back to 
her berth, and go to sleep again. We would be 
warned if there was anything the matter. The 
child is nervous, and so needs rest the more." 



ELISE. 131 

Sister Felicitas listened a moment ; all was quiet, 
but the noise of the engines, while from the look- 
out came clearly, the "all's well," of the watch. 

"There, dear ; hear that," said Sister Felicitas. 
"Go back, and lie down again, and I will be in 
directly, to cover you up, and give you a warm 
drink." 

The child went back to the state-room as directed, 
and then instead of lying down, began dressing as 
quickly as possible. 

"They will not come, dear angel," she said. "Do 
you go to them and preserve them from all danger." 

After she had finished dressing, she looked about 
her. "It will be cold," she said, "[may take this," and 
pulling the white blanket off the berth, she wrapped 
it around her shoulders, and passed out into the cabin. 
All was perfectly quiet. 

The lights were dim, but enough light was left to 
show her the way, and she moved noiselessly along 
the cabin up the stairs, going aft to the deck over 
the steerage. Suddenly a man shot from the steer- 
age, shouting : 

"Fire ! fire !" 

Instantly the alarm ran through the ship, and all 
was noise and confusion, as a cloud of flame and 
smoke burst from the hold. The fire was under 
too great headway now to attempt to control it, and 
preparations were made at once to lower the boats. 

Our little girl stood alone, watching the scene of 



132 ELISE. 

confusion. The shrieking and weeping of the 
women and children, the shouting of orders, and 
the consequent quarrelling and fighting, which 
always ensues where each one strives to be first. 
All seemed to be going on forward, and she was 
gradually left standing there alone. She could not 
have gone forward now, she was separated from 
the rest by a cloud of dense smoke. She was very 
calm and quiet, and was apparently talking to 
some one near, who was invisible. 

Presently two men came climbing up the back 
stair-case from the cabin, the same way that she had 
come. They did not see the child, but went to the 
stern of the ship, and looked over. 

"Here she is, all right, Jerry," said one of them, 
with an oath, pointing to a small boat which was 
floating astern, attached to the steamer by a rope. 

He was a short stout man with a scrubby red 
beard, which, as well as his hair was cut short; the 
true type of a New York rough. His companion, 
Jerry, was a most remarkable looking man, one who 
would attract attention anywhere, and then give 
you a shiver of aversion. Very tall, and thin, with 
long, bushy, curly, uncombed hair and beard, of a 
dark brown color. A terrible gloom seemed to 
surround and overshadow him. His forehead was 
deeply furrowed by passion, while his dark glittering 
eyes seemed to pierce you through with a glance. 
The hopeless despair of the "worm which dieth not," 



ELISE. 135 

seemed to have taken possession of him, as with 
drooping head and shoulders, he stood at the deck 
raihngs, grasping in his hand, hke the traitor Judas, 
a bag of gold. 

Suddenly Elise stepped forward: "I am to go. 
with you," she said. 

The effect was electrical. With a deep groan 
Jerry dropped his money bag and cowered back into 
the corner as far as he could go. The short man 
dropped on his knees and blessed himself most 
devoutly, his teeth chattering in his head with 
terror. 

"Do not be frightened," said the child gently, "I 
am only Elise, and I must go with 3-ou to get away 
from the fire." 

The short man was the first to recover himself. 

"Jerry, man !" he said with a short, sensual laugh, 
like himself, "It's only one of the passenger's 
youngsters. Blessed ef I didn't think it was a spook. 
Where's your folks, little gal? Run and find em. 
You can't go with us." 

"I cannot go !" said the child briefly. 

She spoke trul}-, for the heat \vas fast becoming 
unbearable, and the fire was rapidly spreading, and 
had completely shut off the other end of the boat. 

Jerry drew up the boat, dropped the bag into it, 
and followed sullenly cowering down again in 
the farther end, and hiding his head on his folded 
arms. 



134 ELISE. 

"Ef you ain't the meanest, most miserable scamp," 
said the short man impatiently. "Here rouse up 
man, and tell me mighty quick what to do with 
this youngster." 

No response, or movement. 

"Well," said the short man, "it can't be helped 
lie's in one of his moods. Here goes for good 
luck," and taking the child's two hands in one of his, 
he lifted her slight form, and slung her into the 
boat. Then detaching the rope, rowed away as 
quickly as possible. He was none too soon, for 
hardly had he rowed a few yards when the burning 
■ship gave a sudden lurch, and went down. The 
moon shone calml}' down on the troubled water as 
though nothing had occurred, leaving a long glit- 
tering path of white shining over the face of the 
ocean, as if it might be the way by which the de- 
parting souls were going home. 

"Let us go back," said the child, now weeping 
iind trembling, "we may save some, the Sisters, 
Father Grey, and the others." 

"No, little gal," said the short man, with another 
of his short laughs, "wc might get more passengers 
than we want. Every man for himself, so say I. 
Here, Jerr3s man, rouse up, I say, and take a hand at 
the oars." 

Jerry thus adjured, grasped the oars, and began 
■with desperate strength to row the boat. 

"You are going the wrong way," said the child 



ELISE. 135 

quietly, "that is the way," and she pointed in an al- 
most opposite direction. 

"Well, I'll be blessed," said the short man, "ef 
she hasn't the cheek of a cast iron monkey." 

"Go as she directs," said Jerry shortly. So saying 
he. turned the boat, and began rowing away in the 
direction she pointed out. 

"That is not yours," said the child, gravely, point- 
ing to the bag. "You are Catholics, and should 
confess your sins, and make restitution. You are 
more than a Catholic," said she, with her inexorable 
finger pointed at Jerry. "You are a priest." 

Jerry dropped his oars, and covered his face with 
his hands, and groaned aloud. 

"See here, little gal," said the short man, "you are 
altogether too sassy for a kid ; little gals should be seen, 
and not heard ; you just wrop that 'ere blanket 
around them little shoulders of yourn, and lie down 
and go to sleep, and when you wake up, we'll be 
ashore." 

Perfectly submissive, and obedient, the child sat 
down on the bottom of the boat, and placing her 
head on one of the seats, was soon lost in the tran- 
quil sleep of the innocent. 

Silently the two men rowed on, Jerry with such 
desperate energy, that the short man had hard work 
to keep up with him. Presently he stopped row- 
ing, and said : 

"Jerry, man, what's got into you? you row as if 



136 ELISE. 

the very old boy was after you ; there's no such tearing- 
hurry, we can't be far from shore, and we don't 
want to land till we see where we are." 

No response came from Jerry. With eyes staring 
wildly before him, as though piercing through the 
gloom to the invisible, he rowed on as desperately 
as before, with all his strength, and with apparent 
unconsciousness of all around. 

"All right, then, have it your own way," muttered 
the short man, "but I'm not going to kill myself for 
you, not ef I knows myself, and I thinks I does. 
Lets count the swag, and see if it pays," So saying 
he shipped his oars, and proceeded to open the bag 
of gold and count its contents. 

Elise stirred uneasily in her sleep. 

"Papa, papa," she said, and her lip curled over 
with the same grieved look which we see sometimes 
in babies when troubled. The short man looked at 
her in alarm, but she slept on unconsciously. 

"I've a great mind to pitch her into the water, and 
be done with it," he said vindictively. 

He made a movement toward her, perhaps with 
that intent, but was arrested by Jerry who said in a 
voice which made the short man jump nervously. 

"Let the child alone !" 

"I hain't touched her," said the short man peev- 
ishly, and he began to put back the gold in feverish 
haste. The grey light of the morning was breaking 
when he had finished, and caused him to shiver with 



ELISE 137 

the chill which accompanies that early hour. 
Taking a flask from his pocket he took a long pull 
and then offered it to Jerry, but he might as well 
have offered it to a statue. Jerry saw nothing 
around him, and with a dissatisfied grunt the short 
man replaced it in his pocket, and again took the 
oars to assist his companion. Very soon they came 
in sight of a low, sandy shore. 

So the kid was right after all ; she knows too much 
altogether, to suit me," said the short man, "and 
now where might we be I wonder? As T have to 
answer my own questions with this crew, I should 
say we should be up pretty nigh to Old Virginny. 
I wonder if the Rebs would grab us if we land : 
rather them than old Ben Butler, who is around about 
here somewheres. Well there's nothing for it, but 
to make a try," and very soon the boat grounded 
the sandy beach. 

No sooner did the boat come near the land, than 
Jerry dropped his oars, gave a frantic leap ashore, 
and began to run up the beach. 

"Hello here!" shouted the short man; "come 
back here man ; where are you going?" 

"To do penance for my sins I" shouted Jerry 
clasping his hands over his head, and running with 
all his might. 

"Fool! he's gone mad through that simple idiot 
of a baby ! 'It's an ill wind that blows nobody 
good.' So much the more for me. Jerry always 



138 ELISE. 

was a queer one," he soliloquized. "I'm glad enough 
to get rid of him, now let's see where we are." 

He looked around ; behind him was a steep em- 
bankment of sand which ran along the beach as far 
as he could see. To the North was a cape, on 
which stood a light house. Here all was profound- 
ly quiet, and solitary. 

"Couldn't have arranged it better, ef Providence 
was on my side!" chuckled he: "Might be some- 
where near Norfolk, reckon I'd better make a little 
survey." He stealthily crept up the high sand bank, 
toward a clump of bushes growing at the top. 

When he reached the top, he stood up and looked 
through them. There was no occasion for his 
stealth. There was a pine grove on the embank- 
ment, and below this, on the plain, a regiment of 
Confederates had camped. It was early yet, but 
all were astir, getting breakfasts over camp fires, and 
the sentinels were posted rather nearerthan he liked, 
so he stole quickly back down to his boat. 

"This is not the place for you, my man," he said 
to himself. "I reckon I better, keep on a little, but 
first I must get rid of the kid. I've had enough of 
her and Jerry, a little too much. Here, young'un^ 
wake up I say, rv^e got ashore." 

Elise opened her eyes and looked round her for a 
minute, and then stood up. 

"All is well with them," she said, looking gravely 
at the man. 



ELISE. 13^ 

"Do tell," said he, "delighted to hear it I'm sure. 
Now you just step out of this, and lively too. Give 
me that 'ere blanket, you've no further use for it, and 
I may find it handy, then walk yourself right up 
that ere path, and you'll find someone there who 
will give you some breakfast, and send you to your 
friends." 

The child handed him the blanket, and stepped 
out of the boat. 

"I suppose," she said, "you cannot return it to the 
steamer?" 

"Oh yes, I can," said he. "Of course I'm going tO' 
row right back there and drop it in the water, just; 
where she sunk." 

"You are not a good man," said Elise, "I don't: 
like you." 

"Don't say?" said the man in a tone of concern. 
"That's not fair, when I rowed you ashore. If I wasn't 
in such a confounded hurry as well as desiring to be: 
as ,quiet as possible, I'd give you good reason for 
not liking me before I leave you." 

He gave the child a look which made her shudder 
and turn away, and as she walked quietly up the- 
bank, he sprang into the boat, and rowed quickly^ 
up the shore. 

Before going on with the histor}^ of our little 
heroine, let us see what has become of Jerry. His 
character was a striking instance of the truth of the 
adage : "Those who standeth highest falleth lowest." 



I40 ELISE. 

A boy in the Jesuits' schools, he stood hif]^hest in 
his class for intellectual gifts, and attainments, and 
when he begged admittance to the Society, he was 
sincere in his intention to devote his life to the 
"Greater Glory of God," but full of pride, and self- 
reliance in his natural gifts, he must be humbled 
first to the dust, before he could become a tool, 
"meet for the Master's use." His superiors, recog- 
nizing his natural abilities, sent him to Rome to 
finish his studies. Here he devoted himself with so 
much energy to his work, that he fell ill of brain fever, 
and closed that avenue to himself forever. When 
convalescent he was sent to a country house to gain 
health and strength. While there he was one day 
walking with a party of lads who were recreating at 
the same house. In their walk, they came to a very 
rapid stream, flowing through the meadows. One 
of the lads full of life and vigor, gave a running 
leap, cleared the brook, and lighted on the other 
side, amidst the applause of his companions. 

"Oh ! that is not so difficult," said the Father, 
"This bank is much higher than the other ; the 
difficulty would be in jumping back again." 

"The boy laughed, ran back a little way and 
tried another running leap, to regain his party ; but 
he had miscalculated his strength, he missed his 
footing, and fell back again into the water, striking 
Tiis head against a stone. His comrades quickly 
formed a chain, and the foremost rushed into the 



ELISE. 141 

^Stream, and soon rescued him. He had" not been 
iive minutes under the water, but all their efforts to 
resuscitate him proved in vain, his life was com- 
pletely extinct, and he who had been the life and 
light of the happy party on setting out, was now 
borne home on an improvised shutter, his companions 
chanting the "De Profundis" as they walked. This 
terrible event proved too much of a strain on the 
poor Father. His reason again gave way, and it 
became- necessary to send him to an insane asylum. 
Here he slowly recovered, and again he joined his 
•community, but alas ! his pride and self-reliance 
were still unsubdued, and in rebellion toward the 
hand that chastened, his faith became weakened. 
He fell a victim to the first strong temptation and 
left the "Society." What need to tell any farther ; 
he fell lower and lower, until he reached the lowest 
strata of humanity. Of what use were his natural 
gifts to him now? Only a torment, Avhich made him 
abhor himself and prevented his becoming one with 
his comrades. He had not indeed joined the plot of 
firing the steamer, and robbing the passengers, but 
he had not prevented it, and he had seized the gold, 
which he hoped would give him the opportunity of 
again rising in the world." 

Oh, the pity of it ! who can fall lower than a re- 
probate religious? How often do we not hear of 
those who once shone as stars in the firmament, who 
aiow lie grovelling on the ground ? Their punishment 



142 ELISE. 

has already begun in "the fire that is not quenched 
and the worm that dieth not." Hating with all 
their strength the Holy Mother Church that they 
once so much loved, full of doubts and contradictions, 
melancholy and self-repining they have lost self- 
respect and the respect of others, without which life 
is not worth living. There is no such unhappy or 
degraded being in the world as a fallen religious. 

Salt is good; but if the salt shall lose its savor 
wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither pro- 
fitable to the land nor for the dunghill, but shall be 
cast out and trodden under the foot of man. 

Father Grey had partly penetrated Jerr3^'s dis- 
guise on the steamer, and by some few pointed 
words had let in the first ray of hope since he began 
his downward career. Then the appearance of 
Elise, whose words had been so evidently supernatu- 
ral, had finished the blessed lesson. He knew it to 
be hopeless to attempt to gain readmittance to the. 
Society. Nevertheless he turned to it for direction 
and guidance in his great need. To-day there is no 
more fervent penitent among the.Trappists than Jerry.. 

"Howdid the child gain her knowledge?" you ask. 
I cannot tell. Is it the angels or heaven-born in- 
stinct which enables children, nay, sometimes even 
the dumb beasts, to discern truths which we who 
believe ourselves wiser, cannot see? I must leave 
the question to wiser heads, or more spiritual souls 
to answer. 



CHAPTER XIV. 



THE CONFEDERATES. 



A PINE grove on a mid-summer day I ^vhat re- 
collections does it not bring forth? Recall to one's 
mind the air full of the odor of the pines, the soft 
melancholy soughing of the wind in the branches 
overhead. This one was a small upland grove, 
which overlooked a plain on which, as we before 
said, was encamped a regiment of Confederate 
soldiers. The sky was cloudless, the sun had risen 
two hours ago, and was beginning to pour down its 
fierce rays on the tents below. Every one was astir 
down there ; but up here in the grove all was silent 
except the wind in the pines, which seemed playing 
the solemn dirges for those, who, in a few days, 
would be stretched cold in death on the field of 
battle. Under the tall trees, and near the edge of 
the bank, two young men were stretched on the 
carpet of pine needles ; conversing in low, earnest 
tones. One has the grey uniform of a Confederate 
officer, and the other was in civilian's dress. The 
latter, whom we shall call Alex, was speaking: 



144 ELISE. 

"So you are going to join Beauregard's army, 
Harry?" 

"Yes;" replied Captain Harry Webber, the only 
son ot one of the F. F. Vs. "We are momentarily 
expecting marching orders." 

"What does your mother say to it all?" said Alex. 

"Oh I mother's metal rings out the genuine 
article," said the young officer sadly. "She buckled 
on my sword herself, and told me to go with her 
blessing, with a smile under which I knew well her 
heart was breaking. May God preserve me to re- 
ward her generosity. I surely will, if man can do 
it," he added, fervently. 

There was a moment's silence, and then an oriole 
from a bush near, poured out its very soul in an 
ecstasy of song. 

"A good omen !" said the captain. "I accept it as 
a token of success." 

"But what under heaven is it all for?" said Alex 
impatiently. 

"For the defence of our rights, of course," said 
the captain. 

"Rights!" said the other with scorn, and incre- 
dulity in his tone. 

"Do 3'ou suppose," said Captain Webber hotly, 
"that we are going to let those beastly, skinflint 
Yankees trample on our rights, take away our prop- 
erty, and submit tamely, without lifting a hand to 
protect our homes?" 



ELISE. 145 

"Here is one, at any rate, who has no wish to do 
so," said Alex, with a sad smile. 

"Forgive me, old fellow, I quite forgot you were a 
Northerner, but all events you are no Yankee." 

"Straight from Varmount," said Alex, with a nasal 
twang. 

"Oh ! when shall we learn to know each other, 
and when will it all end?" he added with a dismal 
sigh. 

"Where will it end?" said the young captain 
cheerfully. "Oh I it will not be any such tremend- 
ous matter, I think," he added after a moment's re- 
flection. "When Northerners see we are deter- 
mined to stand up resolutely for our own rights, 
and will resist all tyranny even unto death, they 
will give way ; and we shall peacefully secede, and 
have our own nation and government. This country 
is getting too large to manage itself well, and the 
South and North can no more mix than oil and 
water. No ; depend upon it, the Yankees are too 
fond of their money bags and business to stop to 
fight, and there will be very little of it done." 

"Ahem I" said Alex significantly. 

"There I am again I" said the captain. "But you 
know very well that present company is always ex- 
cepted, and we are friends; we will not let this 
wretched affair separate us, will we, old fellow?" and 
he looked beseechingly into Alex's eyes. 

Alex grasped his hand right cordially, and the 



146 ELISE. 

young captain was beginning again, but broke off 
suddenly with : 

"Hello I who have we here?" 

Elise stood before them, looking down on them 
with an earnest gaze. Her hair was somewhat 
tumbled, and disarranged by her adventures: but 
the little lady shone out under all her untidiness, 
and the escaped hair curling in rings around her 
forehead and neck only made her look more pretty, 
and picturesque. How frail and almost ethereal 
she looked as she stood there, after her sudden and 
unexpected appearance. The color in her lips and 
cheeks was unnaturally bright, and her dark eyes 
full of tears at the loneliness of her position. She 
was a picture of exquisite loveliness; and so thought 
the startled young men, as she gazed down on 
them. 

"If you please," she said, "I am Elise de la Roche, 
I came last night from the burning steamer, and I 
am going North to New York, to my father." 

"Burning steamer I" exclaimed Captain Harry. 
"Are you sure you are not a' fairy? Did you hear 
of any?" said he, turning to his companion. 

"No;" said Alex. "But don't you remember the 
light on the horizon, last evening ; we noticed it from 
your mother's veranda?" 

"To be sure, to be sure," said the captain who 
did not look deeply concerned over the news. "So 
that was a Northern steamer? Where are your 



ELISE. 147 

"friends, my child, was there no one to look after 
you?" 

"They must have gone in the boats. I think it 
was well with them," said Elise hesitatingly. 

"Was no one with you? How did you get 
ashore?" 

"Two men brought me, and then went away 
again," said the child hanging her head. She was 
too full to say any more, and the tears began to roll 
down her cheeks. 

"Oh come now !" exclaimed the captain. "I can't 
stand that, you know," and he sprang to his feet. 

"See here, little sister, I will take care of you, and 
see you safely with your friends, if you will trust 
yourself with me, and do just what I tell you ; that 
is if I live," he added in an undertone. "Is that a 
bargain?" he said, holding out his hand to her with 
a winning smile. 

The child, in answer, slipped her hand in his, 
with confidence, and lifted her dark eyes trustfully, 
with a smile, and the friendship was sealed. 

"Now," said the captain in a satisfied tone, turn- 
ing to his friend, with a comical smile, "the question 
is what shall I do with her." 

"Send her to your mother, until an opportunity 
comes to pass her through the lines. I'll look after 
her," said Alex. 

Elise clung the tighter to her new friend's hand 
and looked at him bes££chingly, saying : 



148 ELISE. 

"I want to stay with you." 

"And you shall," said Captain Harry. "No one 
knows when the opportunity to send her North will 
come, better than the present one. We are bound 
straight through to Washington, at least, and she 
shall go along with me." 

"You must be crazy, Harry!" said Alex; "Take 
a child like that along with the army I What will 
you do with her when you go into action? What 
are you thinking of?" 

The captain laughed a little self-consciously, and 
said : 

"Well, I suppose I am a little looney. But 
mother could not resist sending along Uncle Pete to 
look after her chickens, and he's brought his big 
covered market wagon and favorite mules. He has 
filled it pretty well with supplies, but he will have 
room for the little one, and take care of her like a 
mother, and you may trust him for keeping out of 
the fighting and coming ofi" with a whole skin." 

Alex shook his head dubiously. 

"Will you go with me, little lady?" said the cap- 
tain, "or go and stay with a kind lady, till your papa 
can come or send for you?" 

Elise's answer was a look and confiding motion^ 
which touched the young captain inexpressibly^ 
He turned his head suddenly, and pretended to- 
shade his eyes from the sun with his hand, while he- 
hallooed lustily for Uncle Pete. 



ELISE. 149 

Soon an old darkey came laboring slow!)- up the 
hill ; he was black as night, tall, and bent with age. 
On his head and face were patches of white wooA, 
which reminded one forcibly of a deca}'ing trunk 
in a dark forest, with grey moss growing on it. 

"Here, Uncle Pete I" called the captain, "I've got 
a passenger for you." 

"Got a what fer me?" quavered the old man in a 
high key. 

"A passenger," said the captain. "Can you find 
room for this little lady in your wagon, and look 
after her as the apple of your eye?" 

"Dat lile gal !" said Uncle Pete lifting his hands, 
and rolling his eyes in amazement. "Laws, you're 
only foolin', Massa Harry. Zedekiah and Ezechiel 
bof tole me dis mawnin' dat dey couldn't tote 
annodder ounce no way and no how, and dat jes' 
because I wanted to put on a lile bacon, let alone a 
child like dat un." 

"Well, Pete," said the captain with a resigned 
air, pressing the little hand reassuringly, "we shall 
have to leave her here in the woods, then, I suppose 
there's no one else I can trust to look after her, or 
at any rate, no one else who could do it as well as 
you." 

This was a parting shot which told with great 
effect, and Elise completed it by fainting away, to 
the dismay of the three men. 

"Brass de Lord ! Massa Harry, de pore chile's 



ISO ELISE. 

dying wid de hunger, wat you tinking 'bout; boys 
don't know nottin' 'bout carin' fer chilluns, anyhow." 
rfe caught her up in his arms, and hurried down 
the hill, followed b}' the young men who were look- 
ing at them anxiously. 

When Elise became conscious again, she found 
herself lying on a luxurious couch of evergreen 
boughs, covered with the captain's best blue rug. 
Uncle Pete was alternately sprinkling her face with 
water, and slapping her hands with a most worried 
look on his kind old face, while the young men 
bent apprehensively over her. 

Dat's right," said the old man as she opened her 
eyes. "She'll be all right now, niassa, I'll be boun'. 
Pore lile chile, she only wanted her breffus, so she 
did. and Uncle Pete will gib some to yer, so he will, 
honey. Don'y move now an you'll see how chipper 
3^ou'll be in a minit." 

Klise smiled at him gratefully, and won the old 
man's heart. A delicious sense of repose stole over 
her, and she felt she could lie there forever. She 
closed her eyes while the old man proceeded to boil 
some coffee in a tin cup on the coals of his camp- 
fire and to impale some transparent slices of bacon 
on sharp sticks which he placed over the coals, and 
let it drip slowly down on some corn bread as it 
cooked. 

"Oh, Uncle Pete ! the child can't eat tlTat," said 
Alex, scornfullv. 



ELISE. I 5 I 

"Jes' you wait a minit," Massa Alex; "an' you'll 
see," said Uncle Pete condescendingly. 

"Well," said the captain, "what would you advise 
Uncle Pete? If Zedekiah and Ezechiel, won't draw 
her, what shall we do ?" 

"Let us bress de Lord I Massa," said Uncle Pete. 
"You don't understan' dem critters, and nebber did. 
Dey's mighty perticler who dey makes frens wid, 
but wen you see em look ober hyar like dat, and 
stamps deire feet, and flaps dere ears, dat means dey 
know more'n most folks, and proves ob dis un for a 
fren. I don belieb you could make dem mules stir 
one step now, widout dat lile chile. Mighty curus 
now I ain't it?" 

"Well, I'm glad they've got so much sense, uncle, 
and I shall look to you to keep her right under your 
eye, until I take her away." 

"Wile hosses shan't draw her fum dis old darkey, 
massa," said the old man, and he proceeded to dish 
his breakfast, which he carried to the child as re- 
spectfully as if she were a princess. 

Elise opened her eyes , and smiled gratefully at the 
old fellow ; then she sat up, and tried to eat to please 
him and found it much better than she thought. 

"The appetite comes with the eating," as the 
French say, and she began to feel much revived. 

"You see, Massa Alex, you see," said Uncle Pete 
to the young men who were watching her, much 
pleased with the result. 



152 ELISE. 

"I shall have to give up, uncle, that you know 
best," said Alex, and much relieved the two young 
men strolled off, leaving Uncle Pete greatly elated 
with his success. 

"Dat's right, honey, dat's right; I knows all yees 
want was sumpin' to eat. Dem yere mules ober 
dere is ours ; and dey's been askin' introduction to 
yer for de las' hour. Dere names is Ezechiel and 
Zedekiah, and dey's powerful anxious to make frens 
wid yer." 

"My name is Elise," said the child politel}'. 

"Dat's fust class name, and dem critters knows 
the quality jes' as quick. Dey's very particular 
who dere friens is, and dey likes you, and says dey 
will draw you right up to your pa right smart, now 
I tell yer." 

"Oh I will they?" said Elise, "dear Uncle Pete 
you are so^good." 

"Sartain," said Uncle Pete ; "Massa Harry, he's 
de cappen, and has to ride wid his men 3'ou know, 
but his ma sen' me to look atter him and I'll look 
atter yer both. It'll be nottin' but a big camp 
meetin', and \\i\\ hab a jolly good time." 

Elise spent the rest of the day on her evergreen 
couch, dreamily watching the camp fire, and talking 
to Uncle Pete. She was sheltered from the rest of 
the camp, on one side by the big market wagon, and 
on the other by a group of Osage orange trees. Mrs. 
Webber, the captain's motlier, and others of his 



EUSE. 153 

friends came to see her from time to time through 
the day, and tried in vain to persuade her to stay 
with them in Norfolk ; but she begged so earnestly 
to go on with the captain, that they were obliged to 
give way, especially as it was the general feeling 
that there would be little blood shed, and that the 
Southerners would meet with no opposition, but 
carry all victoriously before them. Elise was greatly 
amused in watching the camp life, and listened 
gravely to all the discussions which were carried on, 
as to where and when they were likely to meet the 
enemy. When night came on, Uncle Pete made her a 
snug little nest in his wagon where she slept well in 
spite of the discomfort of unchanged clothes. Earl)- 
the next morning she was awakened by the sound of the 
bugle calling all for the march. She scrambled out 
of the wagon, and joined Captain Harry in a hasty 
breakfast of coffee and hard tack. Soon she was 
on the front seat with Uncle Pete, enjoying greatl}' 
seeing the different companies march out. 

"See dem mules, now," said Uncle Pete, "dey 
knows just as well as de wisest. See em now wid 
dere heads togedder plannin', and plannin' ; look, an 
you'll see em salute wen Massa Harry's compan}^ 
goes out." 

Surely enough when the company of proud >'oung 
Virginians stepped, with heads up and martial air, 
with their resolute young leader at their head. 
Uncle Pete bv a dexterous twitch on his reins man- 



154 ELISE. 

aged a general squeal, and stamping of feet with his 
mules. 

"See dat now, don' tell me," said the darkey im- 
pressively. 

Elise was profoundly impressed, and believed,, 
most admiringly, in Uncle Pete and his mules. 

"The music makes me feel so strangely in here," 
she said pressing her hand on her heart. 

"Oh ! dats nottin' 'tall w^en you gits used to it, I 
feel jes' so myself wen I eats too much," said Uncle 
Pete. 

All through the hot day the rode, through dusty 
roads with the hot sun pouring down on them. Elise 
sat by the old man's side, and told him of her South- 
ern home, of Mademoiselle, and Jacques, and the 
dear ones waiting for her in New York. He was 
deeply interested and frequently interrupted her by 
his exclamations of astonishment and admiration. 
He, on his part, told her how he had alwavs lived 
with the Webbers, and cared for Massa Harry, "sence 
he was a pickaninny and alius would." 

"Dem no 'count niggahs run away, and joins dem 
Yankees, but de quality stick to de ole stock, no 
Linkums fer me, I says." 

At noon they halted an hour, where a brawling 
brook ran into the river. Elise begged hard to 
find a quiet place to make her toilet, but the old 
man would not listen to her leaving the cart, and he 
would not leave the mules, so she must fain content 
herself with the little water he could bring her. 



ELISE. 155 

At night the tents were again pitched and then 
followed anotherlong, hot, dusty day. Elisegreatly 
pitied the men who looked weary and fagged out. 
Orders for a halt were called early the next evening. 
There were no tents struck, the men laid on the 
ground with their blankets around them, and there 
seemed to be an atmosphere of dread expectancy of 
a sudden call to arms. 

Elise noticed that the old man drove his wagon 
aside from the rest, when they halted on a plain on 
the banks of the Shenandoah. He stopped, 
where a branch road led off from the main road up 
into the mountain region, and seemed possessed with 
some mysterious secret, which caused many an 
ominous shake of the head. It was a quiet spot 
which he had chosen, and as usual he managed to 
screen off his camp by his wagon from all observers. 
The camp fire was built and the kettle boiling be- 
fore Captain Harry appeared. He was rather 
paler than usual, with a resolute, firm compression 
of his lips. 

"Hulloa, little queen I how goes it?" he exclaimed 
gaily, as he threw himself on the ground by the fire. 

Elise quickly and deftly made him a cup of tea, 
and while they were laughing and chatting over it, 
she noticed that the old man was very busy arrang- 
ing the inside of his wagon. 

When Harry had finished, Uncle Pete appeared 
and said mysteriously : 



156 ELISE. 

"Better you sleep in de team to-night, Massa 
Harry. IVe fixed a nice place in de front for de 
lile un : de mens hab been drinkin' an' she may need 
you 'fore de mawnin'." 

The captain hesitated. 

"Perhaps you are right," he said finally. "I will 
see what I can do." 

Later on, Elise woke to iiear the old darkey per- 
suading the captain to take a hot drink before lying 
down, promising solemnly to watch, himself, and 
call him at the least disturbance. Then all was 
lost in unconsciousness. 




CHAPTER XV. 



MAUM ROSA. 

Some time in the night, EHse awoke to the con- 
sciousness that the wagon was moving, and then 
went off again to sleep. When she next awoke, 
the faint light of the early day was shining through 
the front curtains of the wagon. She felt sick and 
faint, from the motion of the wagon, and the con- 
fined air of the little space in which she had been 
sleeping during the night. She scrambled to her 
feet, steadying herselt by the back of the seat, and 
looked out through the curtains of thick canvas 
which hung at the back of the driver's seat. She 
was at tirst only conscious of the delicious feeling 
of the fresh morning air, as it blew in her face, and 
then she looked around her with great astonish- 
ment. 

There was no one in sight. No army ; no Uncle 
Pete : onlv the two mules plodding leisurely up a 
steep hill. One hill seemed to succeed another in 
the view before her, while on the right, down, very 
far down, she saw a deep valley, with an irregular 



158 ELISE. 

line of mist rising over a river, and far be3ond that 
a blue line, which might be the bay, a black ser- 
pent-like line in the valley which she thought might 
be the regiment on the march. Why then were 
they up here? and where was Captain Harry? 

She was greatly relieved to hear the familiar dron- 
ing of a Methodist h}'mn, with which her intercourse 
with Uncle Pete had alread}- accustomed her. The 
singer she now discovered was walking at the head 
of the mules, holding the reins. He seemed in high 
spirits and occasionally stopped to double up with 
suppressed laughter. Then checking himself, he 
began : 

"Oh! Canaan! bright Canaan ! I'se bound fer de Ian' 
ob Canaan." 

Again suppressing himself, with a scared glance 
backward, as if in fear of waking someone, and 
then with an irrepressible chuckle, he began once 
more : 

''Ef you git thar before I do. I'se boun' fer de Ian' 

ob Canaan 
Look out fer me, I'se comin' too. I'se boun' fer de 

Ian' ob Canaan." 

Greatly puzzled at this condition of things, Elise 
called out : 

"Uncle Pete I Uncle Pete ! where are we, and 
where's the army?" 



ET.TSE. 159 

"Hush ! hush, honey !" said the old man in alarm. 
"You'll wake up the captain." 

"The captain !" said the child. "Is he here too." 

She lifted the curtain behind her nest, and dis- 
covered a long form wrapped in a soldier's blanket, 
stretched over Uncle Pete's stores. 

"May I come down to you, Uncle Pete?" she 
called in suppresed tones. 

The old man came to the side of the wagon, and 
lifted her down, with one hand while he held the 
reins with the other. 

"Yer see, chile," said he, "dere is gwine to be de 
biggest kin' of fightin' ; so all de men tole me, an' 
dat ere boy ob ourn, Massa Harry's bound to be in 
de wuss ob it all, and will git hurt sure as can be. 
So, I tole de mistiss Pd look atter him berry careful, 
I tort and tort, an' at las' I jes' put Hie sumpin' in he 
punch las' night to make him sleep hne, an' den I 
tote 'im right off wen dey's all asleep. Press de 
Lord ! de scentry man knowed me an' he didn't see 
nottin', nottin' 'tall." 

Here the old man roared, and stamped, and 
laughed until the mules stopped. 

"Dem critters" said Uncle Pete "hab so much 
sense, dey knowd jes' as well as myself, and dey 
went out ob de camp on tippy toes, jes 'as careful, 
an' dey hasn't made a soun' dis mawnin'." 

"But, Uncle Pete, will the captain like it?" said 
Elise doubtfully. 



l6o ELISE. 

"Laws, chile I I 'spect he'll be putty mad ; but dere 
I has to do it ; yer see, he hurt hisself sure enough 
ef I didn't, an' his ma would be much dis- 
pleased." 

"What will he do?" said Elise timidly. 

"Let us bress de Lord, honey I he cawn't do 
nottin' ; nottin' 'tall, I'se got 'im sewed right up in 
his blanket : he 1 he I he I I'se won't take 'im out 
till de fight's ober wid and den he goes back to his 
company, yer see, he I he ! he I" 

Elise ran lightly on in front of the team up the 
hill, stopping here and there to bend over flowers, 
softly touching them sometimes, but never picking 
them, singing alow song to herself, and then talking 
a little, apparently to the flowers, birds, or insects, 
which the old darkey noticed seemed to keep about 
her. He watched her for a time with some awe, 
and it seemed to him that he could see a kind of 
radiance around her. 

"Dat chile is one ob de blessed ones, sure 'nuf," 
he said, but his attention was withdrawn from her 
by a stir, a groan, and then an exclamation of as- 
tonishment from his wagon, followed b}' : 

"Hello, Uncle Pete! Hello you! What in the 
name of goodness ! Hello there, I sa\-." 

Uncle Pete walked on serenel}', innocentl\' oblivi- 
ous, but rather scared, chucklin<i[ to himself a little. 

The captain wriggled himself to a sitting position, 
and put his head through the canvas at the sides. 



ELISE. l6l 

"What under Heaven and earth does all this 
mean?" roared the poor captain. "Where are we? 
You miserable old idiot, come here and let me out." 

"Laws, Massa Harry !" said the old man. "Yer 
knows de mistiss don't prove ob fights, and I done 
promis' her to look atter yer an' keep yer out ob de 
fights, and de boys hyar, dey tole me dat dere 
gwine to be de biggest kin' ob fight dat eber was ; 
so you jes' lay down easy, and by-'m-by I'll loose 
yer." 

"You good for nothing, confounded old darkey I 
don't you know that you've disgraced us forever? 
That I shall be shot for deserting, and none of us can 
ever hold our heads up again? You have disgraced 
us all irretrievably. My God I what a situation ! I 
believe I shall go crazy. Come here I say, and cut 
these strings. I'll have you sold. I'll never speak 
to you again while I live. I'll shoot you down the 
minute I'm free. Obey this instant." 

"Lordy, please forgib dat 'ere boy's bad words ; 
he knows better, fer his ma nebber 'low him to talk 
dat way ; but please 'scuse him, Lordy, he'll be 
sorry by-'m-by, wen he gits ober bein' mad," said 
Uncle Pete, and, as the captain began to get frantic 
in his struggle to free himself, he mounted the seat to 
keep an eye on him. 

Captain Webber finding himself so securely sewed 
in the blanket that it was impossible to get free, 
was silent and quiet now for a time, trying to grasp 



l62 ELISE. 

the situtation, and considering how he could meet it, 
for even if his story were believed by his superior 
officers, what a laughing stock to the whole regi- 
ment he would be, to be carried off like a baby by 
his old nurse ; death seemed to him then his only 
resource. What a terrible misfortune had befallen 
him ! 

The mules began ascending another long hill, 
and Uncle Pete, weary from his long watch, began 
to nod. The captain was aroused from his stupor of 
despair, by a cool little hand on his brow, and a 
whisper in his ear : 

"What can I do for you, Captain Harry?" 

The child had climbed up the hanging step be- 
hind the wagon, and was now pit3'ingly regarding 
the fallen hero. 

" Oh, Elise I You blessed little angel, I knew 
the Lord sent you to me. Be quick now, there's 
a dear child. There to the right is my belt; draw 
out now very carefully the long knife : there now 
put it in my right hand under the blanket, be 
careful, dear, you'll cut yourself: now run ahead 
of the team, again, or Uncle Pete will be looking 
for yoii." 

Obedient to the letter, the child was soon up the 
long hill in front of the mules, engaged in saying her 
beads begging our Blessed Mother to intercede and 
preserve from all harm him whom she had just 
loosed from his bonds. 



ELISE. 163 

Uncle Pete was rudely roused from his nap, by a 
sound box on his ear, with : 

"Take that, you infernal old idiot, for meddling 
with the affairs of your superiors. It's time you 
found out who they are," and the young captain 
unfastened his horse from behind the wa^on, and 
clattered down the hill, as if the enemy were after 
him. 

"Who did dat?" shouted the old man. "Whar's 
datboy?" 

And looking behind, he found that his prisoner 
had escaped. 

On seeing this, the old man completely broke 
■down. 

"Oh Lordy ! Lordy !" he moaned, "he's shore 
be killed — he's shore be killed ! I did my bes', 
mistis, 'deed I did," and the tears rolled down his 
wrinkled old face. 

In an instant Elise was by his side, her little arms 
around his neck, and her soft kisses on his rough 
old cheek. 

"He will be safe, Uncle Pete, I know it sure. I 
know he will not be hurt, and Madame Webber 
would be ver}^ angry if we had taken him away 
from his company," she added very impressively. 

Uncle Pete found himself greatly comforted, and 
looked at the child. 

"Are you shore?" said he, anxiously. 

"Siu-e !" said she positively. 



H54 ELISE. 

"I believes ye, missy," said the old man meekly. 
"I tinks de angels tells yer." 

"They do, Uncle Pete; they do. You will bring 
the captain back safely to his mother, and I shall be 
with papa, and all will be so happy," and she clapped 
her hands and laughed gleefully. 

"God grant it, child!" he said solemrdy. "Any- 
how we got 'bout to de top ob de hill, and we'll 
turn in hyar and gib dem pore critters a rest and den 
we'se goes down udder side an' kitches de army." 

They now turned off into a wild wood road ; the 
forest closed them in on both sides. Elise resumed 
her place bv the old man's side and they drove on 
in silence. It was all so beautiful. The road was 
overgrown with grass on which the flickering lights 
and shadows seemed to pla}' and dance. The tink- 
ling of the mules' bells, the song of the wild birds and 
the music of a little brook over the stones were the 
only sounds to be heard. The brook ran along side 
the road in a little ravine and crossed the road once 
or twice. It was spanned at these places by 
round wooden logs joined closely together. On they 
drove through the forest aisles, arched by the trees, 
and finally the road ended in a large open space, 
before a grand old stone mansion. 

It seemed quite empty, and deserted. They 
waited and listened a little time for the occupants. 
Uncle Pete hallooed once or twice, but the only 
response was a bit of bark thrown angrily down 



ELISE. 165 

on them, from an overarching elm in front of the 
mansion ; and looking up they saw a pair of large 
grey squirrels, who were scolding and chattering" 
noisily at the intruders. 

"Dey's nobuddy hyar, dat's a fac," said Uncle Pete 
finally. "Spec's dey's done gone Norf," he said 
with a sigh. "We'll just stay hyar tru de heat ob 
de day and den we'll trabb'l atter dat bad boy." 

He got down from the wagon, and lifted down 
the child, first attending to the wants of Zedekiah 
and Ezekiel as he ahva3's did, while Elise went off 
to explore the mansion. He was proceeding to 
build a fire and look for fresh water, when a dull 
boom sounded faintly on his ear. The old man 
startled convulsively and then fell on his knees, wring- 
ing and clasping his hands alternately. 

"Oh Lordy I Oh Lordy ! he's dere. I know'd it 
I know'd it," he said, rocking himself to and fro. 
"Oh ! Lordy, Oh ! Lordy." 

Again Elise was at his side. 

"Let us go, uncle," she said. "Let us go and 
find him." 

"No, lile missy, not jes' now^we must wait a wile^ 
an' den we go down and fine him." 

Mechanically, he went on with his work. They 
heard no more of the distant cannon. Elise went 
into the house and found, to her delight, a kitchen 
built at the back in which there was a cistern of 
running water. It was not locked, so she went in 



1 66 ELISE. 

and made the best toilet that she could, under the 
circumstances, and came out again, fresh as a rose, to 
her old friend. He persuaded her to eat and drink, 
and did so himself, and in spite of their fear, and 
anxiety they both felt new strength and courage, so 
dependent are we on these vile bodies of ours. Then 
all was packed up once more, andElise tried to per- 
suade the old man to take a quiet rest, and smoke, 
hut she could not coax him to his accustomed siesta. 
He looked around uneasily, uncertain what to do. 

The house before them had been a grand mansion 
in its day. It was built of grey stone. The two 
wings and the centre formed three sides of a quad- 
rangle. In the centre was a deep arched recess 
which formed the principal entrance to the building. 
The steps leading down from this entrance were of 
stone. They were now broken, and falling apart. 
On these, Uncle Pete and Elise were seated. The 
arch was covered with climbing roses, in full bloom ; 
from the roses darted a humming bird with gorgeous 
■ colors which fluttered around and around Elise's 
face as though striving to find- an entrance to extract 
.the honey. 

She clasped her hands in ecstasv. 

•"Oh it is so beautiful I" she said. "And the dear 
angels do it all." 

■"Do all what, chile?" said Uncle Pete. 

"'Why everything, the coloring, the flowers, the 
birds and sky. All the frost, rain, snow and wind." 



ELISE. 167 

"Land sakes ! I nebber heerd tell ob dat afore," 
said Uncle Pete. "Itink, honey, you's made a mis- 
take, it is de Lawd dat do all dat." 

"Yes, uncle, but you know the angels are His 
servants, and the saints belong to His household, and 
they minister to us for Him." 

"Dat's so chile, dat's so, but I nebber tought ob de 
way afore." 

"Did you know the people who used to live here, 
uncle?" said the child, after a little silence. 

"Why no, chile, I don't know presently w'ere we 
are, but I 'spose I know'd 'em ef I heerd dere names. 
I know all de folk in dis part ob de kentry, but dey 
hasn't libbed hyar, fer many a day, I tinks." 

"There are spirits here who need our prayers," 
said the child faintly. "I felt them in the house, 
and I feel them now^ Let us go inside, and we will 
say the Rosaries of our Blessed Lady and for the 
Dead for them, the poor souls." 

As she spoke, she went up to a large bay window 
in one of the wings and looked in. It was a large 
drawing room taking up the greater part of the wing. 
The entire room was heavily panelled in oak. 
Opposite the window through which she was look- 
ing, was an immense stone fire place. Over this the 
panelling was even more elaborately carved, and in 
front of the fire place was a large hearth stone. The 
room was completely dismantled, there was not an 
article of furniture to be seen, and there was a mel 



1 68 ELTSE. 

ancholy, dismal look within, that made the old man 
shudder, and turn away, saving: 

"Oh, no, chile ! I wouldn't go in dere fer all de 
worl'." 

"Well then," said the child, "We will pray for 
them right here, under the trees. But the spirits 
will not hurt you. Uncle Pete." 

"One nebber kin tell, chile," said the old man. "I 
can't say no pra'rs. Dere ole Moses he kin preach 
and pray b}^ de yard, but dis ole darkey he don' 
know no pra'rs 'tall." 

Again the sound, boom ! boom ! ! boom ! ! I came 
faintly to their ears on the breeze. 

"Oh pray, chile! pray anyhow, anyway, fer de 
3^oung massa," said he, turning pale under his black 
skin. "Oh! Lordy, hab merc}^ ; and spare him, 
spare his poor, dear mudder." 

"There is another mother who will feel for 
and pray for her, if we ask her. Come Uncle Pete !'' 

It was a strange sight to seethe fair, straight young 
form, and the bent one of the old man pacing up 
and down the walk in front of the old mansion. 
Elise saying her beads and instructing the old man 
in his responses. 

The shadows were beginning to get long, when 
they had finished, and the old man announced that 
it was time to go. With a sorrowful heart, filled 
with dread and terror of what might lie before them, 
he harnessed the mules into his wa^on. 



ELISE. 169 

They drove back through the forest, to the high 
road again and began to descend on the other side 
of the mountain. When they came to the brow of 
the hill they both exclaimed at the prospect which 
lay stretched suddenly before them. In the distance 
was a range of dim blue hills, and behind these the 
sun was setting. A glorious, 3'et gloomy, and angry 
sunset. 

The whole western sky was flooded with a bright 
orange flame, except a bank of threatening clouds 
Avhich hung lowering in the west, a few feet above 
the horizon. The sun had sunk a little below these 
and glared like a bright red ball of fire, while bars 
like iron, formed by the clouds, stretched across its 
face. Far down in the valley was again that dark 
serpent-like line, and the glint of the setting sun on 
the bayonets, showed them to be soldiers marching 
to their fate. 

Then the sun disappeared and darkness descended 
on the poor valley, so soon to be desolated by the 
cruel fate of war. Wearied out by the events of the 
■day, the little one fell asleep, with her head on Uncle 
Pete's shoulder, and even the jolting of the wagon 
■down the rough hills or its stopping some hours 
later, failed to rouse her. It was very late when 
Uncle Pete finally reined up before a low brick 
house, by the side of the road, at the foot of the 
mountain. It was a pretty little one-story cottage of 
brick with the addition of a kitchen in the rear, built 



I/O ELISE. 

of wood and painted the color of the bricks. Every- 
thing was covered with vines and the perfect order 
of the place made it most attractive. Uncle Pete 
shouted in vain for some time, but at length a window 
opened and a man's voice enquired: "What is 
wanted ?" 

"Let us bress de Lord ! Ned, you foolish boy," 
was Uncle Pete's response. "Don't yer know Uncle 
Pete?" 

The window slammed down, and a young man 
soon appeared at the door, and then came to the 
wagon side. 

"Well, well," he said. "How could I know it 
was you, uncle. I thought 'twas a crowd of those 
rascally soldiers ; they nearly cleared us out last 
week. If we hadn't been ready for them and driven 
the stock to the mountains, and hid the rest of our 
goods, we shouldn't have had a thing left. But 
you're welcome ! you're welcome, we are wanting 
your good, common-sense advice. Get down and 
come in, while I put up your team." 

"Can't stop, boy, dis time," explained the old man. 
"I wants yer to take care ob dis yere lile gal fer me 
wiles I go fer de young massa." 

Great was Ned Brown's astonishment when Elise 
was placed in his outstretched arms. Begging- 
Uncle Pete to wait one minute, he carried the sleep- 
ing child into the house without waking her. 

Maum Rosa and her son Ned were the sole oc- 



ELISE. i/r 

cupants of the little cottage. Maum Rosa had been 
nurse, first, and later, maid to a wealthy planter's family 
for the last twenty-five years. Now, all her charges' 
having grown beyond her care, she was honorably 
retired. Her son was still coachman on the plan- 
tation, but his mother had secured for him a fairly 
good education, while she herself had insensibly 
imbibed the good language and gentle manners of 
those around her. She came out now to the wagon 
with her son, and listened with both surprise and- 
amusementto Uncle Pete's story. They both joined 
in begging him to remain with them, representing 
that the state of the country was such that he was 
sure to lose his beloved mules, and goods, if he 
went on alone that night, while he could easily find 
the regiment next day by the aid of daylight, 

"Lie down and sleep," said Maum Rosa pityingly, 
"I will call you at four, and you can get away 
before the child wakes, and I will take good care of 
her until you bring back Captain Webber." 

This arrangement was finally carried out, and the 
first ray of the morning sun saw the old man hope- 
fully depart. His strength and courage greatly re- 
vived by the sympathy of his friends, and his night's 
rest. 

When Elise woke the next morning she sat up on 
the lounge where she had been placed the night be- 
fore, and looked about her in great bewilderment. 
The main part of the house was taken up by the liv- 



172 ELISE. 

ing room where she had been placed. It was a 
pleasant room ; the good taste, neatness, and perfect 
order might have done credit to a far more preten- 
tious house than Maum Rosa's. The lounge on 
which Elise was laid was covered with a light buff 
linen, the seams of the cover corded with dark crim- 
son ; behind it falling from ceiling to floor was a 
large fisherman's net and balls, which formed a 
quaint yet effective background in grey, and was 
connected, with the past history of the house, with 
Maum Rosa's most sacred memories. A large bay 
window was open on the other side, which looked 
out on the distant hills covered with blue haze, while a 
yellow laburnum filled in one side of the window 
with its long fragrant spra3's. The outer door stood 
open and led directly into the front yard. The 
floor vv'as covered with a white straw matting which 
was protected by a bright plaid linen crumb cloth. 
In the centre of this was a round table spread for 
breakfast; this was also covered with a crimson cloth, 
protected with white linen doilies from the breakfast 
dishes. In a corner, by the bay \yindo\v, was Ned's 
desk and books, while a case over this contained 
his rifle and fishing tackle, plainly showing that the 
room was used as a true living room, where nothing 
was excluded which could add to the comfort and 
happiness of its inmates. 

Maum Rosa came in directly after Elise awoke, 
and seeing that the child was awake, said cheerfully : 



ELISE. 173 

*'Well, little daughter, you have had a good 
•sleep; do you know where you are?" 

"Where is Uncle Pete?" said the child in reply. 

When she had heard Maum Rosa's explanation, 
she was very unwilling to remain ; but she was a 
reasonable child and saw the necessity of waiting. 
After her breakfast she went out to explore the 
premises, and after her usual fashion made friends 
with all the living creatures on the grounds. After 
Maum Rosa had finished her housework, she sat 
down a moment, in her little sewing chair, and be- 
came lost in painful thought over the coming strug- 
gle. Her boy's S3'mpathies, she knew, were all with 
the Northerners. He had been longing for his free- 
dom ever since he was old enough to know he was a 
slave. She knew he would enlist as soon as the 
opportunity offered, and he was the last one left of 
her once large famil}-. 

Suddenly, Elise stood beside her in silence. 
Maum Rosa looked up to see what the child wanted, 
and was startled to see that Elise was evidently 
making a strong effort to compose herself, and was 
looking at her with large, dilated eyes. 

"What is it, dear? What can old mammy do for 
you?" she said. 

Elise, in answer, threw herself into the old woman's 
arms and burst into tears, sobbing as if her heart 
■would break. 

"Oh, mammy," she said, as soon as she could 



174 ■ ELISE. 

speak, "there's a poor little chicken out there^. 
and he is so sick, and nobody cares one bit." 

"Bless the dear little heart!" said Maum Rosa, 
"Show me where it is, and we will bring it in and 
give it the best of care." 

Elise led the way to a farm yard behind the house,, 
and there, truly, they found, as she had said, a little 
chicken on its back, gasping and kicking its legs 
convulsively in the air. Elise looked indignantly at 
the old mother hen, who was heartlessly scratching 
for the rest of her brood at a little distance, quite: 
content without the missing one. 

Ned came to the barn door to see what they 
wanted, and as Maum Rosa gathered the little 
chicken betewen her two hands, in order to warm 
it, he said : 

"No use, mother, that's a 'goner!' the old hen 
left it out last night, and it got chilled. It's too far 
gone for even you to bring back to life." 

"You went right by it, and didn't care," Scid 
Elise indignantly, the fire flashing from her eyes. 

The young man laughed and said teasingly : 

"Let it stay with its mother then. Chickens 
that run away from their mothers deserve to come to 
grief." 

"I did not run away from mine," said Elise gravely. 
Then she turned and went into the house, followed 
by Maum Rosa. Here they got an old pasteboard- 
box which they lined with cotton-wool, and placed 



ELISE. 175' 

the chicken in it under the kitchen stove. After a 
httle, it began to peck at some chicken dough, in 
which Maum Rosa had sprinkled a little ca)'enne 
pepper, and in a few hours, Elise had the supreme 
satisfaction of seeing it join the family brood as wel 
as ever. 

As the day drew near to its close, Elise became 
very restless and uneasy, indeed all were in sym- 
pathy with her ; it was something in the atmosphere. 
Nothing had been heard from Uncle Pete, though 
the child had been constantly on the watch for him.. 
She gathered from listening to Maum Rosa's and 
Ned's conversation, that there had been fighting not 
far distant, but no one knew the result, or extent of 
the battle. 

"Uncle Pete should have taken me with him, he 
promised the captain he would ; he should not have- 
left me here in this country," she said, with her eyes 
full of tears. 

"Well, dear, he will soon be back, please God," 
said Maum Rosa, gently. "And we must try to 
patiently wait God's will." 

Then losing herself in dark forebodings of herboy's- 
future, the poor old woman rocked to and fro with 
anguish. 

"This one, too, dear Lord," she moaned. "Oh ! 
spare me this one." 

"Would you like me to tell you a story about 
some brave soldiers?" said the child, diffidently, lean- 



T76 ELISE. 

ing against the old woman's shoulder, putting her 
arm lovingly around her neck, and peering anxiously 
into her face. 

"Do, dearest," said Maum Rosa. "I am a selfish 
old woman, thinking only of myself." 

"Well," said the child, seating herself on a has- 
sock at her feet, "once upon a time, in a country, 
I can't remember where, but very, very long ago, 
there was a brave company of Catholic soldiers, 
only forty of them." 

"And the rest of the regiment was Protestant, 
I suppose, said Maum Rosa. 

"No, pagan," said the child, "people who wor- 
shipped idols, there were no Protestants in those days, 
they hadn't come then ; everyone was either Catholic 
— some good, and some bad — or else they were 
pagans. 

"Well, these forty were very good and brave 
men, the best the emperor had — and he was very 
proud of them; but you know the emperor was a 
pagan, and Satan had put it into his head to hate the 
Christians, so one day he told all the army that they 
must worship his false god, but the brave forty re- 
fused to do so. They marched away from the 
others and said that they couldn't obey the em- 
peror in this, for it would be a sin. The emperor 
was fearfully angry," said Elise earnestly, "and he 
liad them whipped dreadful!}', with whips, and iron 
thines." 



ELISE 177 

"Elise paused, and her face flushed. 

"Were you ever whipped?" she said. 

"Bless you, no, child ! I always had a kind master 
and mistress." 

"I was, once," said the child simph'. "It was 
dreadful." 

Mammy smiled, but said nothing. 

"Well, these poor soldiers were whipped until th 
flesh was torn from their bodies, but God strength- 
ened them, and they did not give way. It was in 
the middle of winter, and fearfully cold, so that 
everything was frozen solid. As cold as the North 
Pole, I suppose. Were you ever at the North Pole, 
mammy?" 

"Never! I was never outside of Virginia," said 
mammy. 

"I never was there, either, but I believe it was 
near New York, where I am going, and if you just 
step out doors in winter, you are frozen to death." 

The old woman was horrified. "The Lord pre- 
serve us," she said, "what will become of you?" 

"We shan't stay there long," said the child re- 
assuringly, "we are going back to Regalia as soon 
as the war is over, and those bad men go away. 
Well, as I was telling you, when the emperor saw they 
would not give way, he said : 

" 'You just take them down to the pond that is 
frozen up solid, take off their stockings and shoes, 
and all their clothes, and leave them there in the 



178 ELISE. 

cold, no matter how much their fingers ache, or their 
toes ache, until they will obey me.' Well, the pagans 
took the forty brave soldiers down as they were told, 
and took off their clothes, then they built great, roar- 
ing fires around the pond, and said : 

" 'Now, whenever you will obey the emperor and 
worship his gods, just hold up your hand, and you 
may come to the fire, and get warm,' But you know, 
the soldiers wanted to die a martyr's death, above all 
things, so they held up their heads, and marched 
proudly and joyfully down to the pond. They knew 
they would soon go straight to Heaven, and they all 
prayed hard to God — except one, and he was so 
proud, and thought himself so brave and strong 
that there was no fear of his giving way — not to let 
them give way. 

"There was one of the pagan soldiers help- 
ing to build the fire, who happened to look up in the 
air, and there he saw forty of the most beautiful 
angels, standing near the men. Thirty-nine had 
beautiful crowns in their hands, and their faces were 
shining with joy, but one hung down his head, and 
wept, for he had no crown. While the pagan was 
looking at them, and wondering at the sight, one of 
the Christian soldiers gave up, and held up his hand, 
saying: 'I will obey the emperor, only take me to 
the fire.'- Then the pagan soldier sprang quickly 
into his place, with joy, saying: T am a Christian, 
and will take his place.' 



ELISE. 179 

"So they took off the pagan's clothes, and put 
them on the poor Christian, who had given way, and 
•carried him to the fire, but no sooner did he get 
there, than he died." Elise sighed deeply. "He 
did not pray to God, you see, and he could not 
bear the dreadful cold. Well, the others died by 
degrees, and when the morning came, there was 
only one left who was still breathing. The soldiers 
wanted to save him, but his mother said: 'No, do 
not keep my dear child from his martyr's crown, but 
put him on the cart with the others.' And so they 
did, and then threw all the bodies into the fire, and 
they were all burned." 

Elise's face was radiant with triumph. 

"That was a bad mother," said Maum Rosa, sol- 
emnly. 

"Oh no, mammy," said the child. "She was a 
brave, true mother ; she cared more for Heaven than 
earth. Wouldn't you?" and the child fixed her 
eyes earnestly on the old woman's. "The dead 3'ou 
know are living." 

"Goodness, child I" said Maum Rosa, "you 
make me shiver. Now, dear, I am going to make 
you a little bed here on the lounge, and you shall 
sleep, while I wash and mend your clothes, so you 
will be all ready to go with Uncle Pete when he 
comes for you." 

The child's answer was a hearty hug and kiss, as 
she said : 



i8o 



ELISE. 



"You are so good to me, dear mammy." 

Ned came in, soon after, and with a teasing- 
laugh, he said : 

"Miss Elise won't speak to me because I didn't 
look after the chicken." 

"Oh ! yes, I will," said the child, "and Oh ! Ned^ 
if Uncle Pete don't come soon, won't you take me 
to the army, and help to find Captain Harry?" 

"Take a little girl like you to the army ! You must 
have the cheek of a brass monkey." 

Elise wonderingh' put up her hand, and pinched 
her cheek to make sure it was still soft, but when she 
turned to Ned for further information, he was talk- 
ing earnestly to his mother, in low tones, and before 
he had finished, the child was fast asleep. 




CHAPTER XVI. 

MISS JONES. 

It was very early the next morning when Elise 
awoke from her sleep ; she sat up, and looked about 
her. Her clothing, neatly washed and ironed, lay on 
the chair near. 

"Dear mammy," she whispered, "how good she 
is to me ; but I must not stay here any longer. I must 
go to papa, and if I wait any longer she will stop me. 
Dear angel show me the way, and keep me from al], 
evil." 

She arose, and dressed herself quietly, and then 
stepped out of the open window, lest opening the 
door should wake some one. It was past three in 
the morning, and a dim light was beginning to show 
itself in the eastern horizon. 

" Good-bye, dear mammy," said she, kissing her 
hand toward the house, "and thank you for all your 
kindness ; but I must go to papa." 

She went down the path, and took the high road 
to Washington, without any doubt or hesitation as 
to the way, and walked swiftly away. The road lay 



l82 ELISE; 

along the river, and was bordered by plantations. 
It was only shaded at intervals and left her to the 
mercy of the dust and rays of the sun. But she 
walked steadily for two hours without stopping or 
faltering. It was with a thankful sigh that she came 
to a group of trees, beside the road, under which 
was a large stone watering trough for horses, and sat 
down by it, completely exhausted. Owing to the 
early hour, she had met no one thus tar, and had 
not dared to enter a house for fear of being detained. 
It was a lovel}^ spot where she was resting. The 
watering trough was composed of a large bowlder, 
the top of which was hollowed out in the shape of a 
basin, while the water fell into it with a musical 
sound from a pipe leading out of the bank above, 
the whole being overshadowed by two or three 
large pines. She went up to the rock, and bathed 
her face and hands, and then tried to catch some in 
her mouth as it fell. She was not very successful in 
this, but found these few drops deliciously cool, and, 
with a thanksgiving, sat down under the trees. 

"Now, if you please," she said, "I would like 
.•something to eat." 

There was no one there ; at least no one visible to 
human eyes, but hardly had the words escaped her 
lips, when her attention was arrested by shouts, and 
presently two little negro boys came racing down the 
road, one driving the other who carried a water pail. 
They might have been eight or ten years of age. 



ELISE. 183 

The elder one was the driver, and the younger 
represented a restive horse, and was tossing his head, 
champing the bit, and giving his driver great 
trouble. They stopped short when they saw Elise, 
and looked anxiously at her, but did not speak. 

"I wish," said Elise, wistfully, to them, "you 
would bring me some breakfast." 

"Haven't you had any?" said Peter, the older bo}'. 
■< 'Where do you live?" 

"Oh ! very, very far from here," said the child. 
"I have been walking a long time, and I am so tired 
and hungry." 

"Well," said Peter, "come up to the house, and 
mammy will give you some breakfast." 

"No;" said Elise, "no one must know I am here, 
or they would not let me go and find papa. Can 
you keep it a secret for a little while?" 

"lean," said Peter, promptly, "and Jone had better, 
•or he knows what he'll get if he tells," threateningly 
glancing at his brother. 

"I won't neither," said Jone, thus dared. "Mammy 
says secrets are sin, and I tell her everything, and 
I'll tell this one, too," with a look of defiance at 
Peter. 

"Oh I" said Elise coaxingly, "I don't think this is 
■one that she would not like you to keep ; you can 
tell her when I have gone away, but you would not 
like to keep me from my papa, would you?" 

"No," said Jone slowly, "I like you." 



l84 ELISE. 

"So do I," said Peter. "Now you keep Jone here ; 
he's such a little fellow he'll be sure to blab. Mammy 
lets us bring our breakfast out, and ours is just ready. 
I'll go and get it."' 

So saying, he filled his water pail, and set off as 
fast as his burden would let him, and Jone, nothing 
loth, sat down by her side. 

"Soldiers come here, sometimes," he said, digging 
his bare toes in the mud, "and we run away and 
hide. You'd better run, too, when you hear 'em 
comin', or they'll carry 3-ou off to 'bugaboo.' " 

"What kind of soldiers?" said Elise, hoping to 
find some trace of Captain Harry. 

"Big ones, on great big horses, that come 'calump- 
ing' down the road, as I did," and his eyes grew big 
as he watched to see the effect on Elise. 

Peter soon came back with a tin pail of coffee, and 
a large round hoe cake. 

"This is our breakfast," said he, politely, "but 
Jone and I can get plenty more by-and-by, and you 
must eat this," and he frowned severely at Jone who 
seemed on the point of rebelling. 

"Here is plenty for all," said Elise. "If you will get 
me the tin cup that is hanging up there, I will take 
out some coffee, and you boys can have the rest." 

It was soon divided as she suggested, and the three 
greatly enjoyed their breakfast under the pines. 
Elise did much better than usual, her long morning 
walk giving her an appetite. 



ELISE. 185 

When she had finished, and again bathed her 
face and hands in the spring, she prepared to go. 
The boys begged her to stay with them, offered to go 
with her and assist in finding her father. They 
were so urgent and determined that EHse sent them 
back with the pail, and took advantage of their 
absence, to start northward once more. With 
renewed courage and hope, the child ran down the 
road again, but very soon slackened her pace. The 
sun beat down hotly on her head, she began to feel 
dizzy and faint, and was obliged to rest often. She 
met occasional parties of soldiers, but very few 
civilians were abroad, and she would hide herself 
behind the trees, and fences, at the approach of 
these. 

Was it at the bidding of her angel? 

As it began to grow toward mid-day, the houses 
grew thicker, and Elise thinking she" was drawing 
near a town, took a branch road, leaving the main 
road by which she had been travelling, still fearing 
to be detained. With languid steps the child crept 
on wearily, and finally stopped before a little cabin 
by the road side. It stood alone on the river bank ; 
there were no other houses in sight. It was a tiny 
little white cottage of about three rooms, with a 
large cotton-wood tree at the back, which sheltered 
and shaded it. 

The child looked at it wistfully, but would have 
passed on had she not been arrested by the pierc- 



1 86 ELISE. 

ing shrieks of a child, nay, more, two or three- 
seemed joining the chorus within. She listened a; 
minute ; the cries grew louder, and there was no- 
sound of an older voice among them. After a little 
longer hesitation, Elise went timidly up to the door,. 
and rapped. 

There was no response ; the cries stopped for an. 
instant, and then began louder than ever. 

She then went around to the window at the side,. 
and ventured to look in. What she saw there made 
her open the window quickly, and climb into the room. 
In the room was a boy of about five or six years, 
of age, dressed in a little flannel night dress, another, 
two years younger, similarly attired, and a baby in 
a cradle, the three screaming with all their power, fro m 
fright and terror. The older boy had thrown him- 
self against the front door, and was beating it with 
all his might. As Elise entered, the noise ceased^ 
and the children stared at her with eyes and mouth 
wide open with surprise. 

"What is the matter? Where is your mother?"" 
said Elise. 

"Mammy! mammy! I want my mammy!'" 
screamed the older boy beginning to cr}' again, and 
the other two promptly took up the chorus. 

Elise decided that desperate measures must be 
taken at once, and looked around her. 
Dirt and confusion reigned supreme ; a bed in the 
corner was unmade : the children had probably 
tumbled out of it at an early hour. 



ELISE. 187 

Broken dishes, soiled clothing, rags and shoes^ 
were scattered about; a dirty table, minus a leg^ 
leaned against the wall under the window, with a 
disreputable air, and the two chairs looked equaUy 
dissipated and disabled. She picked her way across 
the room, and opened a door at the back, which. 
looked directly on the quiet, glittering river. 

In the yard here, was the same confusion ; a three- 
legged bench leaned against the grand old tree, 
cabbage stalks, a broken coffee pot, with pools of 
dirty water standing here and there ; but here was 
shade, fresh air, and the river. She went back in the 
house and brought out the two older boys, and gave 
a sigh of relief at seeing some stalks of sugar 
cane, lying on the old bench. She gave these to 
the boys and left them content, while she went back, 
lifted the heavy baby, and brought him out also, de- 
positing him in his blanket on the ground. 

Quiet now reigned, and Elise took advantage of 
it to ask the older boy : 

"Where is your mother?" 

"I dunno," said the boy and his under lip began to 
curl down ominously. 

She left him, and began to search for provisions, 
and was delighted to find a pail of milk on the door 
steps, which had been left in the early morning and 
had not yet soured. Gathering up some bits of wood 
from the ground, she managed to build a little fire, 
on which she heated the milk, and satisfied the little 



1 88 ELISE. 

ones, who appeared ravenous, and then drank some 
herself. She knew not what next to do, but went 
to the road, and looked up and down to see if there 
were any one in sight. The children clung to her 
skirts, crying as if they feared to lose their new pro- 
tector. Elise went back and gave herself up to 
amuse the children. She built houses in the sand, 
laughed and sang to them until all were as merry 
as possible. About an hour afterward, in the 
midst of their merriment, they were startled sudden- 
ly by an exclamation : 

"July ! For the land's sake ! what young' uns this?" 
Elise looked up, and there stood a most remarkable 
looking girl. Very tall and thin, with the brightest 
of red hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Her hair was 
banged across her forehead, and her face and hands 
quite brown with freckless. Her twinkling, light 
blue eyes seemed looking everywhere at once. She 
was neatly dressed, but with a light pink calico, 
which reached half-way between her knees and 
ankles, while the sleeves were also outgrown, and 
failed to cover the long slender arms and wrists 
which were also covered with freckles. The two 
girls stood and gazed at each other in silence. Not 
so with the children, who recognized an old acquain- 
tance, and clung to Elise, screaming desperately. 
The new comer caught up a switch, and said : 
"Now, you, John Thomas, stop that noise, and 
behave yourself, or you know what you'll get." 



ELISE. 189 

John Thomas only shrieked the louder, and the 
3iew comer caught him by the arm, and brought 
down the switch with all her force, leaving a red 
■mark on his little bare legs. Elise screamed almost 
as loud as the boy, sprang at the girl and tried to 
get the switch away, but the girl laughed scornfully, 
and held the switch just out of her reach, dancing 
backward as if to invite her to a chase, and then 
laughing heartily at her vain efforts to reach it. 

John Thomas, considering that " discretion is the 
better part of valor," shamelessly abandoned Elise, 
and retreated to the house, where he stood peeping 
out the door, to watch the course of events, while 
the little three-year-old stopped crying, and began 
to suck his fingers. 

"You may just as well make up your mind, that 
I'm boss of this job," said the new-comer decidedly, 
^'because I'm going to be. How came }'OU here, 
anyway?" 

"I heard the children crying, and I came in to 
take care of them," said Elise meekly. 

"Well, that's my work ; these are widow Jenkyns' 
young'uns, and she goes off to camp to sell things to 
the soldiers, and hires me to mind the house while 
she's gone. I don't mean to hurry any. What's 
the use? crying does 'em good, and they knows by 
this time that they've got to behave themselves, 
when I'm around, and do just what I tell 'em, or I'll 
.know the reason wh}'." 



190 ELISE, 

"Oh I but please don't whip them," pleaded EHse 
entreatingly. "I'll tell you what, if you'll promise 
not to whip them, I'll tell 3'ou a lovely story." 

The other gazed at her incredulously. "I don't 
believe you know any," said she. 

"Indeed I do," said Elise, "lots of 'em, and real' 
true ones, too." 

"All right," said the othei, "I like good stories, all 
murders and robbers, you know, — but what's your 
name, and where did you come from anyhow?" 

"My name is Elise, and I am going north, to- 
my papa." 

"All alone, and walking?" said the other with 
surprise. 

"Yes;" said Elise, "but not alone, my angel 
guardian goes with me, and shows me the way. 
What is your name?" she asked timidly. 

"Lilybel Jones," said the other decidedly ; "3'ou're 
a queer one, but I like you. Now I'll tell you what. 
If you'll tell me a story and keep the young'uns for 
me, I'll cook us a first-class supper for me and you 
and Miss Jenkyns, when she comes home. Is't a 
bargain, hey?" 

"I don't think there's anything to cook," said 
Elise doubtfully; she had begun to feel that some- 
thing to eat was a thing not to be despised. 

"You bet," said Miss Jones, with a knowing wink. 

So the program was carried out, baby was de- 
posited in the cradle, and now that Miss Jones had- 



ELISE. IQT 

arrived, the other two needed no persuasion to 
play quietly by themselves. She seated herself 
on the ground, and clasped her arms around 
her knees, with an air of expectation, while Elise, 
taking an old box, tolerably clean, seated herself on 
it, and began : 

"Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there 
was a little girl who lived in France, and her name 
was Germaine Cousin." 

"What a queer name," said Lilybel. "It isn't half 
as nice as mine is." 

"Yours is a lovely name," said Elise admiringly, 
"but then you know you can't choose your own 
name." 

"Oh! yes you can," said Lilybel composedly. 
"I learned a piece at school, and the name of it was,, 
'A Good Name,' and it began : 

'Children choose it 

Don't refuse it, 

It's a precious diadem !' 

and, besides, Marm changes mine, most every time 
she reads a new novel." 

"But you must keep the name you got in baptism," 
said Elise in astonishment. 

"Never got none," said Miss Jones. "Never got 
baptized, and never mean to neither, folks who get 
religion, are, generally speaking, cranks." 

"Never been baptized !" said Elise with horror. 



192 ELISE. 

"Then that's why you are so cruel and wicked to the 
little ones." 

"You dry up," was the response, "or you'll find 
out whether I'm cruel or not." 

Elise hastened to continue her story. 

"Well, one day, while she was still a little girl, her 
dear mother died and went to heaven, and there she 
prayed for her little daughter, so the Lord sent her 
great troubles and crosses of every kind, that she 
might become a saint.'' 

" Hope there don't anyone pray for me," said 
Miss Jones. 

"Her father married a cruel, wicked woman, who 
treated her dreadfully. She used to say very cross, 
unkind words to her, and beat her, and make her 
work hard in the fields, and she wouldn't give her 
any clothes to wear, or anything to eat, so poor 
Germaine was always very cold and hungry." 

"Bet your life, I'd hev give her as good as she 
sent, and plague the life out of her," said Miss 
Jones, "and to do her justice, there is no doubt, 
but what she would have been as good as her word. 

"Germaine did not," said Elise. "She never 
made one word of complaint, and never answered 
back, but was always bright, sweet, and pleasant. 
When she went ovit in the fields to mind her flocks, 
she would gather the little children around her, and 
tell them about heaven. When she was teaching 
the little ones, or talking to them about heaven and 



ELISE. 



193 



the angels and saints, her face would shine, and 
glow, as though from a light within her." 

"Like yours, I reckon," said Lilybel. 

"Oh, no, ever so much better," said Elise. 

"Yours is nice enough for me, anyhow," said Miss 
Jones. 

"Well; there came a da}' when Germaine went 
to her work in the fields, feeling very cold, and sick, 
and faint. And when the day was over, she did not 
come home, for our Lord had compassion on her, 
and took her to heaven. Her step-mother never 
went to look for her ; but that night, when some men 
were going home from their work, they saw a light 
streaming from a barn, and they looked in to see 
what was the matter, and there on a heap of straw 
they saw the dead body of poor Germaine, and the 
light was shining from that, and from the Holy 
Angels who were watching it. 

"An' yer calls that a true story?" said Miss Jones 
scornfully. 

"Yes; all true," said Elise. 

"An' the men seed the angels?" 

"Yes," said Elise. 

"Did you ever see an angel?" queried Miss Jones- 
incredulously. 

"Yes, often," said Elise, "in my dreams." 

"What are they like?" said Lilybel. 

"One was like a beautiful child, with his hands 
crossed on his breast, always looking up to heaven. 



194 ELISE, 

His dress was made so that you could see each thread 
separately, and they shone and glittered like frosted 
silver, and a bright light shone all around him." 

"I wish I could see one ; how do yer manage it?' 

"I don't know," said Elise, doubtfully, "I'm afraid 
you have not got one, if you are not baptized." 

"Would I have one, if I were baptized?" said 
Lilybel. 

"Yes; I am sure of it," said Elise. 

"Then, by jenks I I will try it, I'll git religion, 
and be dipped next time there's a camp meetin'." 

"Germaine was not baptized that way," said Elise, 
"she was a Catholic." 

"There ain't many of them around here," said 
Lil3^bel ; "a priest comes sometimes to Mrs. O'Leary's, 
I believe, but he never speaks to anyone but Catho- 
lics, don't 'spose he'd have anything to say to me, ef 
I as't him." 

"Oh, yes, he would," said Elise, "try it, and see." 

"Well, I'll see Miss O'Leary, and see what she 
says," said Lilybel doubtfully; "she don't think 
much of me though, but I'll ask her sure; now give 
me the baby, he's off till his mother comes home, 
and you feed the other two, and put them to bed, 
while I get supper." 

So saying, she took the baby into the house, and 
soon came out with some thick slices of bread, spread 
with molasses, and a tin cup of milk for the two 
boys. 



ELISE. 195 

Elise wondered where it came from ; she said 
^nothing, but proceeded to distribute it to the two 
•children, who enjoyed it immensely. 

In about half an hour, Lilybel summoned her, 
and the two boys, much more submissive under the 
eyes of Miss Jones, allowed her to put them back 
into the same untidy bed from which they had rolled 
in the morning, together with the sleeping baby. 
John Thomas showed a slight inclination to rebel, 
but at a glance, and motion from Miss Jones, he 
promptly shut his eyes, and went off to sleep. 

Elise gazed around her with pleased surprise, 
everything had been made tolerably clean and 
orderly by the quick decisive movements of Lilybel, 
and on the table 'smoked a fried chicken, pancakes, 
and coffee. 

"Where are you going to sta\' to-night?" asked 
Lilybel, as they sat down. 

"Oh ! I can't stay," said Elise, "I must keep on 
till I find papa." 

"Good grief!" said Miss Jones, "but that's non- 
sense you know, you can't go on ; don't you know 
they are fighting perfectly dreadful, and they'll think 
nothing of gobbling 3'ou right up, and killing you, 
and carrying you off. I 'spect you'd better sleep 
here, but with only one bed, for you. Widow Jenkyns 
and her three youngsters, there'll be precious little 
room, and what there is will be awfully crooked, I 
reckon. Now we'll leave these things on the table, 



196 ELISE. 

for Miss Jenkyns, who will be here in a little while^ 
You go on out on the steps, and Til be there 
presently. We'll watch for soldiers : it's fun I tell 
yer." 

Elise obeyed, and went out : but when Miss Jones 
appeared a few minutes later, there was no one to 
be seen. 

"July! she's run ;" said that young woman after 
blinking her eyes down the road in vain. "Well, I 
told her, and if anything happens I'm not to blame^ 
I wonder if she wasn't a spook anyhow?" 




CHAPTER XVII. 



A LOST SHEEP. 



Swiftly the little figure ran down the road., 
until out of sight of the cottage, and of fear of Miss 
Jones' pursuit. It was now growing quite dark. 
The grey clouds were moving rapidly overhead, as 
if a storm were gathering ; only a little strip of gold 
in the west showed that the sun was setting behind 
the clouds. 

The country was very still and lonely ; she met 
no one, and for the first time her heart sank with 
fear. The road seemed to grow wilder, and was. 
evidently not much used. Now it entered the 
forest, and it rapidly grew darker. She looked up 
at the swiftly moving clouds overhead, and was. 
comforted to see the moon peeping out behind 
them. Then it was suddenly obscured, and a gust 
of wind moaned through the trees, and tossed their 
branches about. As the child heard, it, she folded 
her hands together, and prayed :; 



apS ELISE. 

" 'Eternal rest grant unto them, oh Lord, and 
■perpetual light of glory shine upon them. May 
-they rest in peace I May they rest in peace !'" 

A sudden flash of lightning, immediately followed 
by a crash of thunder, and a large tree fell across 
the road behind her, but the little quivering figure kept 
steadily on. Now she was out of the forest. Thank 
God for that I and the storm seemed passing over 
without rain. 

It was growing lighter, and as she lifted her eyes 
"beseechingly to heaven, she saw, through a rift in 
•the dark clouds, the moon, stars and clear, shining 
-sky beyond. "It is like the dear Lord in the Blessed 
"Sacrament," she murmured, "a clear shining, in a 
dark world. He is there, the angels are near, why 
should I fear? " 

The road before her was separated from a pasture 
"on one side, and a hill on the other, by a rail fence 
ivhich had been thrown down in many places. 

Suddenly she started ! what was that dark object 
-on the side of the road ? It looked like a dead horse. 
Oh God ! what are all those dark forms ahead, lying 
on the hill, the other side of the ditch? Without 
pausing, guided by her invisible guardian, she crosses 
ihe ditch, her foot slips ; what is it makes the grass 
■so slippery and wet? She tries to save herself from 
falling by putting out her hand ; With what is her 
hand wet? It is blood! blood everywhere; on the 
ground, on the rocks, and fences. 



ELISE. 199 

She shuddered, wiped her hand, but kept steadily 
on toward a clump of bushes, at the foot of the hill. 
At last she gains them, stumbling and falling more 
than once over those still, cold forms, and kneels 
beside the body of a lad of sixteen or seventeen 
years of age. He is conscious and moaning in a 
, faint, weary way. He is lying on his back, with his 
head lower than his body. She laid her hand gently 
on his ; he opened his eyes, and called eagerly : 

"Water, water. Oh ! give me some water." 

It was for this, then, that she has come, for this 
that she has been separated from her friends, 
toiled through the long wearisome way, and borne 
so many disappointments, for this one soul, only a 
school boy, but one for whom Christ died, and who 
needs her help. 

"Where can I get the water?" said the child, her 
tears falling fast, as she spoke. 

" My canteen is under me, but you can pull it out," 
said the lad. 

Carefully and skilfully, as if she had been trained, 
she drew out the canteen, gave him to drink, 
and then tenderl}^ bathed the poor face and head, 
already growing cold in death. Then she unfasten- 
ed his haversack and blanket, and managed to draw 
his head in a more comfortable position on them. 
At his direction, she found a little flask of brandy in 
the haversack, which she gave him from time to 
time as the nigrht went on. 



200 ELISE. 

The storm had now passed quite over and the 
moon shone out clearly. EHse kept her back to 
those dark "forms that she might not see them, 
and her face toward the bushes and that of the poor 
lad. 

It was July, but it was cold, very cold. The katy- 
dids kept up their noisy discussions, as if nothing- 
had happened. There was a distant mournful 
sound of a whip-poor-will, a bat circled around them 
in a weird manner, and Elise in spite of the greater 
horrors of the night around her, felt afraid of it, and 
found herself shrinking away as it swooped near 
them in swift, noiseless circles. 

"Oh dear!" sighed the boy, "how nice it is to 
have you here ; where did you come from?" 

" My name is Elise," she replied, " and my guar- 
dian angel led me to you." 

He looked at her wonderingly. 

" Are there really such things as angels?" he 
said. 

"Did you not know it before?" said the child, 
in surprise. 

" I have heard so," said the bo}', " but I did not 
really believe in it." 

" Will you tell me who you are? and what is your 
name?" asked Elise, timidly. 

"Oh, I am Jim Winters I You wonder why I am 
here, I suppose, but a lot of us fellows in a military 
school enlisted for three months ; we thought it would 



ELISE. 20I 

be only good fun, and this is the end of it all," he 
groaned wearily. "Father tried to stop me, but I 
told him I'd run away if he did, and so he let me 
come." 

A pause, his eyes closed, and he began breathing 
heavily. Elise gave him some more brandy ; and 
he began again : 

"I suppose I was thrown down in some way, and 
then a charge of cavalry ran over me. Don't feel so 
bad. I don't suffer much now. All the lower half 
of me is dead." 

"Have you never been baptized?" said Elise. 

"I'm sure I don't know," he said. "What's the 
use of it?" 

Elise gazed at him with astonishment. 

"Do you not know the good God," she said. 
"Look up in the sky, and see the moon and stars. 
Nay, nearer, look at my hand, and feel it as it bathes 
your head. Who made them?" 

"Oh God ! 'The first cause,' our German pro- 
fessor used to say. Yes, yes, it is true there must 
be a God." murmured the boy, " but I have never 
given the matter any thought, and it is too late now. 
If my mother had lived : she was a Catholic, and 
died when I was born. My father didn't care for 
religion, neither did I much, there was a time : — 
Well, it — is — too — late — now." 

"Oh, no !" said Elise, "God is our Father, He 
would not leave His children without some knowl- 



202 ELISE. 

edge of the truth, and your mother's Church, the Ca- 
thoHc Church, is the only one which ever professes 
to hold infallible truth. God has sent me to tell you,. 
He wishes you to die a Catholic like your mother." 

"But it is too late, you cannot get a minister, and 
I am not good," said the poor lad, and the tears of 
despair, which his pain had not yet forced from 
him, ran down his troubled face. 

"God is so good," said Elise softly, "that* He lets 
even a little girl like me, bring you into the 'One 
True Fold' when there is no one better to do it. 
Will you not believe me ?" she added coaxingly. 

"I believe God sent you to me to-night," he said, 
"in answer to my dead mother's pra3^ers, and that 
every word you say to me is truth." 

"You know," said the child, "how long, long ago, 
God sent His Son to redeem us from sin. How He 
was born of a sinless mother, who then became also 
our mother, and then suffered and died on the cross 
to save us from death? You know of all this?" 

"Oh, yes; I have heard it often, but somehow I 
never took it in before." 

"And you know He left here, for His children, 
a Church which He promised should last till the end 
of time, and told us, Himself, that there should be 
but 'One Fold, One Church, and One Shepherd ;' 
will you not enter that Fold and be safe?" said Elise 
with all the fervor and earnestness of her heart in 
her voice. 



ELISE. 203 

"Oh, yes ; oh yes I with all my heart, if I could,'* 
said the lad. 

"Do you believe all I have told you?" said she. 

"I know, I feel it is true," said he faintly. 

Then repeat after me : slowly and fervently, they 
made together the acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity. 

Then Elise emptying the last drops of water from 
his canteen on his head, as she knelt beside him^ 
repeated the baptismal formula, saying : 

" 'James, if thou art not already baptized, I bap- 
tize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son„ 
and of the Holy Ghost, Amen !' Now be very sorry 
for your sins, with which you have offended the dear 
Lord, and make an act of contrition." Slowly, falter- 
ingly but fervently he repeated after her, she holding; 
his clasped hands, "never — never more to offend 
Thee." 

"I see, I see the angel !" said the poor lad, his. 
face brightening. "Jesus, Mother," a slight struggle, 
and he was gone, while our poor child, now quite ex- 
hausted, fell fainting across his dead body. 

Great was the wonder of the ambulance surgeon, 
when, a few hours later, he picked up the uncon- 
scious child. He shook his head gravely as he ex- 
amined her, and then had her laid in the ambulance. 
She did not fully recover her consciousness, until a 
week later, after a long, weary journey, she came to 
herself in the hospital at Washington, under the care; 
of the Sisters of Charity. 




CHAPTER XVIII. 



THE HOSPITAL. 



The sun was doing his best to flood the children's 
ward of the Sisters' hospital in Washington. It was 
the brightest and most sunshiny room of the whole 
district The long eastern side of the ward was made 
almost entirely of glass, but now, it was too warm to 
allow the sun free entrance, and the ward was shaded 
by large awnings on that side, but the open windows 
had converted the ward into a balcony for the day 
and the children who were up, were making the 
most of it. Opposite this open window were long 
J-Qws of little beds, with spotless covers. Some, 
indeed the greater part, were filled, with that saddest 
of all sights, sick and suffering little children. They 
■did not look sad. Most of them had happy, expect- 
ant faces. They were dressed in bright colored 
flannel bed sacks and had their playthings within 
■■-easy reach. But pale, attenuated little faces, and 
that dreadful weight hanging at the foot of the bed, 
ttold the sad talc of the sufferina: children of Eve. 



ELISE. 205 

In one corner our little girl was lying. Alas ! too 
-easily was it seen that the night's exposure on the 
battle field had proved too much for her frail body. 
She was bolstered up in a half sitting posture with 
pillows. Her cheeks were flushed with fever, and 
occasionally a cough shook her from head to foot. 
It was by a miracle that she had recovered from the 
severe attack of pneumonia which followed that 
dreadful night, especially as it was necessary to 
move her at the height of her fever, but she would 
not die; in all delirium there was but one cry: "To 
go to papa. I must go to papa," and they could only 
quiet her by the promise that she should go, was 
going, though it has generally thought that her 
father had been killed in the battle. 

Now, she is looking very happ}' though she has 
come to a realizing sense of her position. She 
knows that she is too weak now to go farther alone, 
but watches and prays intently for the chance to 
keep on still for that unknown place, New York. 

The ward at this early morning hour, is a scene 
of cheerful confusion. The day nurses have just 
come on duty, and the black-capped Sisters moved 
everywhere, striving to produce 'order out of chaos,' 
before the doctors' rounds. 

The Sister in charge is at the medicine closet, 
at the end of the ward, and she tinkles a little bell to 
denote that she w'ill give the after-breakfast medi- 
■cines. At this signal all the children, who are up, 



206 ELISE. 

make a general rush for her. The crutches and 
splints rattle up the tiled floor, and one poor little 
fellow, not the last by any means, swings himself 
along, using his hands as crutches, and swinging 
himself between them. 

Sister Genevieve had had the care of this ward 
for many years. One glance at her sweet face, now 
showing the marks of old age, would convince you 
that the community had chosen wisely and well in 
giving her the care of the little ones. She was one 
of those few women who are gifted with great execu- 
tive ability. No matter how heavy or trying the 
work might be, it was always so arranged that it went 
on as smoothly as if run by machinery, but with a 
certain snap and energy which carried all before it. 
Her juniors loved her dearly, but knew that nothing 
less than the best, done exactly to the minute, would 
answer when working under her surveillance. Her 
superiors recognizing this, kept her training new 
subjects, so that she used to say her ward was the 
novitiate of the hospital. 

Buttons, the little fellow who has just swung him- 
self up for his medicine, was so named by a young 
doctor on account of his suit of clothes which was 
covered with bright gilt buttons, when he wasbrought 
to the hospital by his mother. He was a bright, 
chubby little fellow, with round red cheeks, and brown 
eyes and hair. The hair curls so tightly around his 
head as to be a subject of great grief to him, and an 



ELISE. 207" 

occasion of war, when the young girl, employed by 
the Sisters for that purpose, endeavors to comb it. 
He comes to a stop at Sister Genevieve's side and 
looks expectantly up to her face. 

"Here, Buttons," said the Sister, handing him the 
glass with an air of conferring the greatest favor. 

Buttons eyed the glass suspiciously, and then 
glanced earnestly and inquiringly into the Sister's 
face, saying : 

"Is dat good med, my Sister? is dat good med?" 

Now the medicine in question was cod liver oil, 
into which the Sister had dropped some syrup of 
iron, about as vile a concoction as one could be 
asked to swallow, but knowing too well by sad 
experience that there was no power in the CapitoF 
sufficient to persuade, or force Buttons to swallow 
it if she said "No," she said : "Very good, Buttons," 
adding a mental reservation that it was good in her 
sense of the word. 

Buttons tooks the glass without further demur, 
and with confidence swallowed the medicine. He 
then looked at the glass with some surprise, and 
handed it back to the Sister with an inquiring look, 
as much as to say : 

"You are sure you have not made a mistake about 
that." 

Sister Genevieve gives an affirmative little nod as 
if to sa}' : 

"Did you ever see anything equal to that?" and at 



:2o8 ELISE. 

the same time proffers a bit of candy, of which a 
store is always kept in her medicine closet. But- 
tons is too much of a gentleman to think of doubting 
her word, and so decided his senses must have de- 
ceived him, and that his cod liver oil and iron were 
reall}' nectar and ambrosia, and so swings off quite 
happy. Soon his sweet, clear voice rings through 
the ward as he rocks himself back and forth in a 
little rocking boat and sings an accompaniment of a 
popular song. 

Again the bell tinkles, and every child, wdio is up, 
scrambles to his little chair at the foot of his bed. 
As the three doctors enter the ward for morning 
rounds, silence and order reign supreme. This was 
a well known law, and like that of the Medes and 
Persians, "It altereth not." 

Let us follow the doctors in their rounds, and 
make acquaintance with the dear children. 

Lina is the first visited. The poor little one is 
lying back in a baby's perambulator. She has 
straight black hair which is kept back smoothly 
from her white, thin face by a round comb, black 
eyes which twinkle like a canary's, delicate, refined 
features with a clear white skin, which is too often 
flushed with fever. She is dead — that is to sa}^ 
completely paral3'zed — below the waist, and other- 
wise deformed in a manner terrible to see. Al- 
though she is nine years old, she has to be dressed 
like a baby each day and then laid in her perambul- 



ELISE. 209 

ator, to be wheeled about wherever her fancy takes 
her. She was long ago decided as incurable, but 
Sister Genevieve has begged so hard to keep her, 
that her sentence of banishment, pronounced by the 
doctors, has been repealed, and however deformed her 
poor body may be, her heart and brain are sound 
and true. She is a good instance of the law of 
compensation, for you can nowhere find a happier 
child, never was she unhappy. There were no fret- 
ful or irritable days for her, she was deeply 
attached to the little novice who has the care of her, 
only on one point they disagreed. Lina had a great 
liking for strong tea, as nearh* all invalids have. The 
novice in question had a prejudice against it, think- 
ing milk better for her. 

"Lina," she remonstrates, as the child begged for 
more, "if 3'ou drink so much tea, you will be an old 
maid." 

There was silence for a moment as Lina turned this 
new idea over in her brain. Lina, with her other 
misfortunes stammered, and she broke out with : 

"Wha — wh — what is an old maid, Sister? Are you 
an old maid ?" 

"Yes, Lina," said the )'oung novice in a sad and 
solemn tone. 

Another moment of reflection and then in a tone- 
of surprise. 

"We — we — well then, I — I — I'd jist lief be an old 
maid as not." 



2IO ELISE. 

The sweet flattery of childhood won, and Lina got 
her tea. Dear little Lina, not long were you kept in 
the sad prison of your suffering, body and by that 
same most just and merciful law of compensation 
you surely gained an additional degree of happiness 
in Heaven, which far more than repays your few 
years of suffering here. 

The doctors have not much to say to Lina, she is 
incurable and consequently an uninteresting case. 

They passed on to that corner bed which is 
screened from the rest of the ward, lest chance 
visitors should find its occupant too distressing a 
sight. He is a tall, thin, awkward lad of about 
twelve years of age, with chronic meningitis which 
causes terrible swellings and discharges from his 
ears. He is in bed most of the time from weakness 
and pain, but occasionally comes out from his seclu- 
sion to join the noisy crowd. Especially is he given 
to nocturnal rambles and chats with the night nurse, 
who was instructed to let him have his way, for 
Stephen likes solitude. He was born and brought 
up in the heart of the Virginia Mountains. It is 
hard to believe that even in this naughty world of 
ours there can be beings so hard and selfish as 
Stephen's relatives. He was brought to the Sisters 
by the police, and this was his story : 

His uncle, weary of the care of a chronic invalid, 
thought the easiest way of disposing of an unwel- 
come burden, was to abandon him in the streets of 



ELISE. 211 

the city. It was sad to see the lad's homesickness 
at first. He could not be reconciled to exchanging 
his beloved woods for a city hospital. Who could 
blame him? Day and night he moaned and wept, 
and as he was the saddest of all ; he became, in 
consequence, Sister Genevieve's special charge. All 
she could do to please and comfort him, was of no 
avail however : 

"To go home ! lo go home ! to go home," was his 
ojie sad cry. 

Gradually this wore awa\' and Sister Genevieve 
felt all her pains and troubles were well repaid when 
he said to her one day, shj-ly : 

"Sister, I like to be here-" 

After this, all went well. He had aroused the 
sympathy of all, and the little space behind the 
screen around his bed was filled with colored cards 
and other little gifts from the doctors and other 
friends. 

Poor Stephen ; he did not live very long. Happy 
Stephen ! for he received the grace of baptism which 
he would not have had in his mountain home. An- 
other proof that the cross means "addition not sub- 
traction." 

The bed next Stephen is occupied by little Ned. 
He has chronic erysipelas and his face just now is 
so swollen and inflamed that his eyes were closed 
tight, so that he was temporarily blind. Imagine 
->the situtation : a pauper, blind, and in addition to 



2 12 ELISE. 

this, the burning, itching, intolerable sensation con- 
nected with the inflammation of the skin. What 
would we be doing, friends, under such circum- 
stances? 

This is what Kttle Ned was doing. Sitting up in 
his crib, he rocks himself back and forth and sings 
in an exquisitely clear voice that fills the ward : 

"Wait till the chiuds roll l)y, love, 
Wait till the clouds roll by." 

He is touched by a scandalized neighbor, and his 
bUnd eyes reminded that it is "rounds," when he re- 
lapses into silence. 

[n the next bed is Fritzie, the Dutchman, only 
three years old. He came into the world badly de- 
formed, and there is no hope of cure, or even im- 
provement. He has a good mother, who comes 
frequently to the hospital to see him. She has not 
the heart to take him away, but leaves him, hoping 
against hope ; while the doctors let him remain, a 
sort of curiosity. Perhaps, too, they also hope that 
someone will one day make a grand discovery and 
cure Fritzie. He has a great, pale full-moon face. 
His vocabulary consists of one word: "Top" — stop 
— This has many meanings and tones, as he addresses 
himself to doctor, nurse or child ; friend or enemy. 
He has also a very pugnacious temper, and the 
young doctors, when making their rounds, can never 
resist the temptation to stir it up by teasing him.. 



ELISE. 213 

Can any one tell us, wh}' the sterner sex carr\- the 
boy's love of teasing to the grave? 

This morning Fritzie is seated quietl}- in his little 
chair, at the foot of his bed, clasping tightly a 
beloved toy, over which he beams benevolently like 
a small Pickwick. 

"Here give that to me, Fritz," says a doctor, com- 
mandinglv. 

A glance of contempt and detiance, and a closer 
hugging of the toy is the only response. Then a 
snatch at it from the doctor, just missing it, which 
Fritz meets by calling out "Top !" in a low. but very 
prolonged tone, with just a shadow of a scream in 
it, at the same time glancing at the Sister, to see if 
she was observing this breach of rules : but the' 
doctor perseveres, and the "Top" soon rises to 
screams, and roars, so Fritzie must be taken from 
the ward before the rounds can proceed, leaving the 
Sister much more inclined to administer justice to 
the older boy than to the younger. 

Then comes our Elise, and the doctor bends over 
the child, listens to her lungs and looks very sober. . 

"How is Elise this morning?" he asks cheerfully. 

"Better, doctor, almost well," she replies, looking 
at him entreatingly. - 

"Wanting to start for New. York on foot, eh?" 

A decisive nod shows how the heart is still yearn- 
ing for her father, and how gladly would she es- 
cape to go on as before, were she able. 



214 EFJSE. 

"How would it do to write the father to come 
here?" .said the doctor. 

"Oh, will you? Can he come? Is it far?" said the 
child, eagerly. 

"We will tr)-, at au}- rate," said the doctor smil- 
ingly. "What is his address?'" 

"New York," said she promptly. 

"But the street and number." 

"I don't know," she said, with a crestfallen face. 

The doctor gave a low whistle, and glanced at the 
Sister. 

"'Do \-ou think the end is near?" said Sister Gen- 
evieve, as they walked away. 

"She cannot last long with that pidse and tem- 
perature,"' said he. "She is a charming little one, 
and how she could have been allowed to stray so 
passes my comprehension." 

"I will advertise in the New York papers," said 
the Sister. 

' "You had better do so to-night,'" replied the 
doctor. "And God grant that the father gets it in 
time." 

Next Elise, was a girl of about ten years of age, 
with bold black e}-es which stared at the doctor 
defiant!}'. 

"Doctor," said Sister Genevieve, "Why does 
Nanc\- reject everything from her stomach? She 
cannot e\en keep down a little water.'" 

"Sister.'" said the tloctor, drawing himself up and 



ELISE. 215 

looking at the girl keenly. "I believe it is nothing 
but pure cussedness." 

"Then I wonder you don't vomit more yourself," 
said the girl saucily. 

The young man exploded with laughter at the 
retort, but the Sister looked gra\ely reproving. 
Nancy had been in the hospital about a week, and 
everything that the doctor's skill could invent had 
been tried on her in vain. The doctor was now 
beginning to understand the case, and he turned to 
the Sister saying : 

"This girl is not to have anything, either of food, 
drink, or medicine, until ii^■e o'clock to-night, and 
not then, unless she wants it, and can retain it."' 

The cure is effectual. Nanc}' has no more 
trouble. She was a poor untaught child, whose 
strange, uncouth ways had been a great trial to both 
Sisters and children in the past week and was also 
very strong in her likings and aversions. She was 
devoted to Elise from the first, and was ne\er so 
happy as when allowed to do an}-thing for her, but 
she had an equally strong aversion to others which 
she took no pains to conceal. For instance, there 
was a certain Sister who came dail}-. for an hour in 
the afternoon, to relieve Sister Genevieve from her 
duties. She was very good and conscientious, but 
had very little sympathy with the children, and felt 
her duty accomplished if her orders were carefully 
executed, and the ward kept in order. She found 



2l6 ELISE. 

Nancy a great obstacle in the way of preserving 
order, and they were constantly running in contact.. 

"I hate her," Nancy would confide to Elise. "I 
hate her in the worst way. Never mind I'll be even 
with her yet; you'll see." 

Elise tried in vain to bring Nanc}' to a better state 
of mind. The aversion grew, and Nancy only 
waited to find a chance for retaliation, for being 
constantl}' reported, and brought to order. The 
Sister in question was tall, awkward, retiring, and 
shy. 

She was delighted one afternoon, to have Nancy 
propose a general game, instead of stealing off by 
herself, for mischief, as usual. 

"It's a perfectly lovely game, Sister," she said, 
with a wicked wink at the children. "Mav I teach 
it to you and the children?" 

The Sister assented warmly- and watched, with an 
amused smile, Nanc}''s efforts to bring all the 
children up to form a large semi-circle at the head 
of the ward. She hadto assist her, finally, for the 
children were suspicious and afraid of Nancy's games 
and plans. When this was at length accomplished, 
Nancy begged the the Sister to take her place at 
the head of the circle facing the entire length of the 
ward and then, after standing behind her back and 
making the most hideous grimaces at her, thereby 
greatly scandalizing the children, she made all 
promise to do exactly what she told them at a given 



ELISE. 217 

signal. Then she went the rounds and whispered 
in each one's ear that she was to keep still and do 
nothing until she came to the poor innocent Sister. 
She impressed it upon her that she was to spring to 
her feet, and shout "Kangaroo — 00 — 00," as loud 
as she could. 

The Sister was too good, herself, to suspect mis- 
chief, and thinking she would not be heard in the 
general confusion, readily promised to obey. 
Nancy heard approaching footsteps, and waited a 
little, till she saw them about to enter the ward, and 
then gav^e the signal. 

"One — two — three." 

The poor Sister sprang to her feet, as she had 
promised, and called out loudly: "Kanga- 
roo — 00 — 00 I" and then looked up to meet the 
utterly astonished eyes of the Sister-Servant — as 
the Sisters, of Charity so beautifully call their 
Superior — who was showing a party of visitors 
through the hospital with Dr. Morse and those of 
the paralyzed children, who thought something 
terrible had happened. There was a dreadful pause 
of silence, then the children broke into a merry 
peal of laughter, and the doctor who took it all in at 
a glance, threw himself into a chair, and fairly 
rocked to and fro with laughter. The dignified 
Superior quickly drew her wondering visitors through 
the ward, and the poor victimized Sister, coloring 
painfully, tried to say a "Deo Gratias," for her 



-2 1? ELISE. 

humiliation, as she turned again to her duties. 
Nancy, a little frightened at the success of her plot, 
crept in beside Elise's bed. 

"Oh Nancy! how could you ?" said the horrified 
Elise. 

"I don't care, the old cat, I said I'd pa\ her off," 
said Nancy, with nevertheless, an uneasy air of 
detiance about her. 

"But what will our Sister say ?" said Elise sorrow- 
fully. She had grown fond of this child of the 
people, and was anxious to screen her. 

"Nothing to me," said Nancy coolly, "for here 
comes my mother to take me home." 

As she spoke, a stout woman, wearing a Hashy 
shawl and bonnet came walking up the ward, and 
the Sister went forward to meet her. 

"Have you a gurl hereby the nameofNanc\" Ray?" 
said the woman. 

The .Sister nodded assent, and motioned Nancy 
to come forward. 

"Sure thin', I've kim to take her awa)' to the 
reform school, no less, I tould her whin she came 
here that it was the last chance I'd give her, at all, 
at all, an' her fayther he said the same foreby an' 
I've 'been tould she's been plavin" it on the howly 
nuns, thimselves, as she did on us, and sure there's 
no other place for her, but the lockin' up, though it 
breaks my very heart to say it. Ma}' tiie Lord 
for<n\e her." 



EIJSE. 219 

" I won't go," said Nancy defiantly, " I'll run 
away." 

"Then, go you will, }-ou bad childcr. \'our 
Uncle John himself an' no other, is waiting bej-ant 
to slip the handcuffs on }'ez, and put yez in his black 
cart, if yez makes an}- trouble at all, at all." 

Poor Nancy turned pale at hearing this, for hef 
Uncle John was the only one living, of whom 
she stood in fear. 

"May the Lord be between us and all harum, 
Sister," said the mother again turning to the Sister. 
"But it's her Uncle John, who is a policeman, and 
he the only one in this mortal world, who kin make her 
mind, and he knows too well the throuble that child 
has given us. She's the \'oungest of all mc sivin, 
and the onl)- one who has not done well. She was 
the smartest, and perhaps I spoilt her. The Lord 
forgive me — but she's got be\'ant me now 
entirely, entirely I 'Twas onl\- last St. Patrick's Day, 
Sister, whin she la\- in fits on me bed, and all the neigh- 
bors in to see her draw her last breath, and me old 
man gone fer the priest bezant, and while we was 
prayin' the procession wint b}s and we jist slipped 
to the windy a minit, an' whin we wint back to the 
childer again she wasn't there at all, at all. What 
should the spalpeen do, but \\hin me back was 
turned, but rin down the stairs and out on the 
strates, she who was dying a minit before, an folly 
that procession the rest of the da}'. And me that was 



220 ELISE. 

shamed whin the howly father kim, that I couldn't 
raise me e}'es to his face, to tell him the whole truth. 
'Mrs. R-ciy,' he says, 'I fear ye'll sup throuble wid 
her yet,' an' so I hev indade. Well I giv her fair 
warning, whin she tuk sick agin an' I sint her here, 
that it wor her last chance, and her father the same, 
an' now she'll have to go where slie'll be made to 
behave herself." 

The Sister looked at Nancy. The child seemed 
petrified with fear, and stood gazing at her, with 
imploring e}es. clasped hands and white face. 

"Nancy," said she gently, "if I ask our mother 
to keep you here, will you be good?" 

In an instant the child was on her knees at the 
Sister's side clinging to her habit, weeping \'iolently, 
and hiding her face in the folds. 

"Oh Sister I" she said, "if }'ou will onh' keep me 
I will be good, indeed, indeed I will be the best 
-girl in the house." 

"If you will leave her until to-morrow, Mrs. Ray," 
said the Sister, "I will speak to the Superior, and 
let you know what she says." 

"Indade, Sister, you're far too good, for the likes 
as her, an' me and my man will be forever grateful 
to yez." 

The mother departed, never knowing how little 
her child deserved such kindness at the Sister's 
hands : but the children who were looking on anx- 
iously, some of them crying, learned a lesson of 
Christian forgiveness never forgotten. 



ELISE. 22 1 

It proved the turning point in Nancy's life. She 
became as wax in the hands of the hated Sister, 
and true to her word a great comfort and support of 
the community. Of course it took long years of 
patient training, but in the end she came forth — 
a perfect religious. 




CHAPTER XIX. 

THK ARTIS'J'. 

The northern end of the children's ward, in the 
Sisters' Hospital, was nearly filled with a large open 
iireplace, A jet of gas was always kept burning 
in this, when it was not cool enough to haxe a fire, 
and by this means, a constant ventilation was 
preser\ed. Around the fireplace was an iron guard 
to preserve the babies from accident, and o\er it a 
text illuminated in bright colored letters: 

••Lord, behold I he whom Thou loxest is sick." 

By the side of each little bed w^as a stand, sacred 
to the occupant of the bed, where the children's 
little gifts, pla\'things and various treasures were 
kept. Prett\', bright chromos were hung on the wall 
over the beds, and a deep ba}- window had been 
transformed into a Shrine i»f Our Lady, b}- lining it 
with English i\'\' and surrounding the statue with 
the long graceful leaves of the calla lilies, palms and 
ferns. This was partly concealed by a screen, with 
a dark background, on which the children had 
pasted their most valued 'holy cards', as the}' called 



ELISE. 225 

the little cards printed with sacred pictures, which 
were given them. Happy was the child who was 
permitted to give a flower to Our Lad)"s Shrine, 
and the charge of it was the greatest honor possible 
to receive. 

The various little charges which the children were 
permitted to undertake were subjects of great de- 
light, and helped in no small degree to preserve 
order in the ward. Next in honor to the shrine, 
was the keeping of Sister's table in perfect order, dust- 
ing and putting pens, paper, etc., in exact squares : 
while little Ned Blackstone announced triumphantly 
to his friends, one day, when on a visit to him, that 
he was "boss of the hammock." 

One Saturda}' morning alter Elise had entered 
the hospital. Sister Genevie\'e was sitting on a bab3''s 
chair in the room oft the ward, wliich was devoted 
to her use, with a large bag of stockings before her, 
from which she was vainly endea\"oring to pick a 
sufficient number of matched pairs to gi\'e each 
child clean ones on the morrow. The children as 
usual were all collected around her. Splints and 
crutches struck out in ever}' direction. 

Buttons pulled himself up by the back of the 
little chair, on which she was seated, and peered 
round in her face with the most coaxing and win- 
ning way imaginable ; he stood on his well foot, and 
waved the lame one wildl\- and persuasivel}' round 
in the air and remarked : 



224 ELISE. 

" Please, Sister, I pe de doctor, an' you pe de case." 

Sister Genevieve resigned herself to the situation, 
and still endeavored to pick out and match stock- 
ings, while she was having her pulse felt, her lungs 
sounded, and Tessie, who had been called up as 
nurse, received some astounding orders in stern 
and dictatorial tones. Jack, the ward cat, sat on a 
table near b}' surveying the scene approvingly. He 
was a Maltese cat of immense size, very dignified 
and reserved. The boldest child never ventured 
any liberties, and he onl}- permitted special favorites 
to stroke him. He was especially devoted to Sister 
Genevieve, however, following her around like a 
dog, jumping on the table near her, whenever she 
sat down to write, and if she did not speak to him, 
he would put out his paw, and knock her pen, to the 
great disaster of the writing. Sometimes he would 
spring from the floor to her shoulder, to the amuse- 
ment of the children. 

The Sister-Servant entered the ward with the same 
gentleman who had visited the hospital on the day 
in which poor Sister's humiliation was given by 
Nancy. This broke up Button's clinic as Sister 
Genevieve went forward to greet them. 

The gentleman was introduced to her as an artist, 
who had come to beg leave to make some studies of 
the children's faces. He could hardly reply to 
Sister Genevieve's greetings as he looked up the 
ward at Elise's bed. 



ELISE. 225 

"Did you ever see anything more beautiful?" he 
said enthusiastically. 

Nancy had been permitted to come from the 
laundry, where she was working, to make a v'sit to 
Elise. She was making a silk quilt, and had the 
bright pieces spread out on Elise's bed, and the two 
were bending over them, earnestly discussing the 
arrangement of colors. The contrast in the two 
faces was almost startling. Nancy's full round face, 
rather dull and sensual, and the delicate, spiritual 
look of the other, bending over her, like her guardian 
angel. • 

The Sister-Servant smiled a little sadly, and replied 
to the artist : 

"It means to us, I fear, the beaut}' which must 
shortly leave us. Her s3'mptoms show that the 
little one is fast getting ready for heaven." 

"Truly," said he, "I think you are right. Her 
body seems only a most beautifulh- transparent veil 
through which the soul shines, impatient to be set 
free." 

"Has anything been heard from her father?" 
asked Sister Genevieve. 

"Nothing," said the Sister-Servant. 

"I was just telling the Superior," said the artist, 
to Sister Genevieve, "that we artists always like to 
go to Catholic schools and institutions for our 
children's faces. There is a mysterious charm in 
their expression which we find nowhere else. I 



226 KI.ISK. 

fannot tell where it conies from. I have no rehgion 
myself, but all my artist friends, and I have scores 
of them, tell me the same thing." 

"The expression you fancy, comes from the re- 
ception of the Sacraments," said Sister Genevieve, 
as they advanced up the ward toward Elise. 

" Elise,"' said the Sister-Servant, " here is a gentle- 
man who wishes to take your picture." 

Elise looked up at the gentleman ver}' calmly, 
and replied : 

"Papa had our pictures taken at Christmas, and I 
don't think he would want them agairt so soon, and 
besides I have no money to pay for them." 

"My dear child," said the artist, smiling at her 
simplicity, "I do not mean to take more than one 
picture, and I will ):»a}- \'ou for that, as I want to keep 
it for myself." 

"But you do not know me !" said the child. 

"No, but I would like \-our face in a picture I am 
painting," said he. 

"Do you want to put me in a picture to hang on 
the wall?" 

"Yes." 

"But that would be a pity, I would not do. Henri 
said 1 should never be pretty, and now my hair is 
all cut off." 

"If it would not tire you too much," said the Sup- 
erior, "1 will allow the gentleman to come a little 
time each afternoon to paint you. Will that interfere 



ELISK. 227 

in anything else?" said she turning to Sister Gene- 
^•ieve. 

"Not at this hour, m\' Sister," answered Sister 
Genevieve. 

So it was arranged, but as they were turning 
a\va\% Elise called the artist back, and said rather 
shyh' : 

''Didyoii say you would pa}' me 'some money?" 

"Yes,'" said the artist amused at the child's pre- 
cociousness. "She has the Yankee spirit after all," 
he thought with a sense of disappointment. "How 
much do you want?" 

"Oh I I want so much to get to New York, and I 
cannot walk anv more, you see. I must go to my 
papa. Would that cost more than vou could pay 
me?" 

"No." 

"Will it take }"ou \-er}' long?" 

"No: I will give j^ou enough mone)' to take }'ou 
to New York, and I will not be long; but better, I 
will write to a friend of mine, who will tind him if he 
is in the cit}', and send him here." 

Elise caught his hand, and kissed it, with childlike 
grace and simplicit}-, and the artist felt himself well 
repaid by the radiant, grateful look which stole over 
her little face as she lay back on her pillows. They 
left her. Nancy gazed at her anxiousl\". Elise 
smiled at her reassuringly, and said : 

"I think it is the pain in m}- side, Nancy: if you 



228 ELISE. 

would make me one of your nice mustard plasters,, 
dear." 

Nancv flew off to beg the materials, and soon re- 
turned with the plaster made just as Elise liked them, 
so that they would warm the skin without making it 
smart. Shall I tell you how that was? She put in 
only a half teaspoonful of mustard, and two tea- 
spoonfuls of flour : she wet this with exactly two tea- 
spoonfuls of warm water, so that it would not be too 
wet, and soil her patient's clothing. It took a good 
deal of stirring to make it nice and smooth, and free 
from lumps ; then she carefully spread this on a 
piece of old muslin, and covered the face of the 
plaster with the same, the edges of the muslin were 
then carefull}' turned in. 

"Leave it where I can look at it," said Elise, one 
day to Nancy, when she removed it. "They have 
been such a comfort to me." 

When Nancy had applied the plaster, and turned 
away to wash her hands, Jack did a very strange 
thing. He had been sitting on Nancy's stool, in the 
meantime, gravely looking at Elise as if trying to 
form a diagnosis, but now he bounded from the stool, 
kicked his heels high in the air, and with tail erect, 
bounded around the ward, and then disappeared 
in the Sister's room. The children shouted, and 
Elise joined in the laugh, in spite of the pain. 

"What can be the matter with Jack?" she said, 
"how funnv he acts." 



ELISE. 229 

"He wanted to smell of your mustard plaster,'" 
said Nancy demurely, "and I let him." 

"Oh I Nancy, his poor nose will smart, giv^e him 
some water when you wash vour hands." 

"jAll right," said Nancy, "but I don't think he'll 
take it from me." 

When Nancy came back she found it nearl\' four, 
and seeing that Elise was wear}', she commenced 
packing away her silks with rather a downcast air. 

Elise tenderly took her hand, when she had 
finished, saying : " What is it, Nannie? " 

"Oh! Elise," said Nancy hiding her tears in the 
child's pillow, "I do want to be good, and please 
the Sisters, but they are so particular and hard to 
please. They want you to look just so, speak just 
so, and walk just so. I think some times I can't bear 
it, I must run awa)'."' 

There was a little pause, and Elise drew the rough 
head down by her side on the bed, and tenderly 
smoothed the hair, whispering : 

"You would not do that for my sake, Nannie?" 

A pressure of the little hand, was the only res- 
ponse. 

"Nannie, do 3'ou remember that dreadful woman 
that }'ou told me was brought in here last week?" 

A mute affirmative movement of the head.. 

"You said she was more like an animal than a 
Christian, and that you had to burn up her clothes; 
they were in such a dreadful condition. I suppose 



230 ELISE. 

she was a young girl like you and me once, and I 
think that is why the Sisters seem so particular. We 
have to master ourselves, or ourselves will master 
us, and that is why we must not allow ourselves to 
sit in lounging, lazy postures, to take great pains to 
be neat in our person, and not to run up stairs, or 
laugh, and talk in a loud, rough way, or else our 
bodies will be the master, and we the servant, and 
then we shall fall as low as that poor drunken wo- 
jnan. 

"Oh I Elise," said Nancy, lifting her head, "I could 
never be like that. I should always be respectable." 

"I don't know," said Elise shaking her head, wise- 
ly, "Father Lawrence used to say that we all had a 
wild beast within us, which we must conquer, or it 
would conquer us, and although the Sisters may 
try to help us, no one, not even God, could do it for 
us. We must do it ourselves by the help of His 
grace." 

Elise bowed her head over Nancy's, praying with 
all her heart for this poor child, who was having so 
hard a struggle with her wild, nature. The clock 
struck four and all the children blessed themselves 
saying the Hail Mary according to custom. Then 
Nancy rose saying with firm determination. 

"I will conquer myself or die. I will do it if only 
to please you." 



CHAPTER XX. 



PAPA, AT LAST. 

The severe pain felt by Elise, on the afternoon of 
Nancy's visit, proved the beginning of a fresh attack 
of her disease. The child sank rapidly after this, 
had constant high fever, and was either in delirium 
or stupor most of the time. 

Nancy's grief and devotion were so great that she 
was appointed special nurse and was permitted to 
stay with her constantly, except the hours in which 
the Sisters thought it necessary for her to take oft" 
duty, for her health. 

Nothing had been heard from M. de la Roche, in 
spite of all the attempts that had been made to dis- 
cover him, and as a last resort the Chaplain had 
written to the Jesuit College, in New York, to see 
if the Fathers there could find any trace of him. 
All were praying very earnestly that he might arrive 
in time and the child seemed holding to the frail 
thread which bound her here for that purpose only. 

It was about a week after the artist's visit, that M. de la 
Roche suddenly arrived with Father Grey, the Jesuit, 



232 ELISE, 

who had been on the steamer with Elise. It was 
about nine o'clock in the evening, but the danger of 
death seemed imminent, and the Superior took 
them direptly to the ward. All the children were in 
bed, the gas was turned down very low. In a room 
at the end of the ward, sat the night nurse, A\'here, 
from her chair, she could see the entire ward. The 
gas jet in this room was up, for the Sister was busy 
sewing. She rose, as she heard the door open, and 
came forward to meet them with a look of inquiry 
on her face. When she heard who the gentleman 
was that the Superior was bringing to the ward, 
her face became radiant with happiness, and the 
four walked softly together, up between the rows of 
sleeping children. It was a pity the artist was not 
there then to catch the grace of the attitudes of the 
sleeping children. Elise was asleep propped up on 
her pillows. Nancy had not yet left her for the 
night, but sat with her head h'ing on the side of the 
bed. Elise's hand still rested on it. The girl's dark 
eyes surveyed the group questioningly, but she dared 
not raise her head lest she would wake her sleeping 
charge. The corners of her mouth were drooping 
with sorrow, and the eyes heavy with unshed 
tears. 

M. de la Roche stood immovable, gazing at his 
sleeping child so sadly changed since he had parted 
from her on the landing at Regalia. Elise stirred 
in her sleep and moaned a little, and then suddenly 



ELISE. 233 

•opened her eyes, sat up, and stretched out her arms 
•crying : 

"Papa, at hist; papa, my own papa, at last, at 
last!" 

Then the father and child were locked in the 
closest embrace. Nancy rose, and the Superior drew 
her away, at the same time pushing a chair for the 
poor father, who sat down in it still holding Elise in 
his arms. The others withdrew to the Sister's room, 
leaving them alone. 

"Papa," she said, "the}' want me at home, in 
Heaven, but I would not go, until I had seen you 
first." 

There was no response onh^ a little closer em- 
brace. 

"May I go, papa?" 

"Oh Elise, m\' darling, ni}- only hope, how can I 
spare you?" 

There was a little silence, then Elise put up 
lier hand caressingly and patted his cheek ; it was 
cold, very cold, and the hand wandered to his fore- 
head, it was wet with drops of cold sweat. She be- 
came alarmed, and raising herself looked at his 
face. 

"My Sister, my Sister," she called in an alarmed 
tone. 

The Sister on night duty came quickh' to her 
side, and Elise taking her hand put it on her father's 
forehead, saying : 



234 ELISE. 

'■ My poor papa is sick, he wants some medicine.' 

"No, dear," said her father in a strained unnatural 
voice — he was evidently making a great effort for 
composure — "medicine will not help papa." 

The Sister smiled, and said : 

"Truly, sir, you do stand greatly in need of rest 
and refreshment, and the little one has had all that 
she can bear to-night. Will you not bid her good 
night, and then come with me for a cup of tea?" 

The poor father shook his head, and held his child 
more closely ; it seemed to him unsafe to leave her, 
even for a minute, lest she should vanish again 
from his sight. 

"The naughty papa ;" said Elise, playfully, "did 
you not hear Sister, and don't you know we have 
to mind her. Put me down on my bed, and go 
directly." 

The father still hesitated, but as the Sister shook 
out the pillows, and straightened the bed, he laid her 
down for a little, and followed the Sister to please 
the child, intending to return soon and take up the 
watch. Elise sank back with an expression of 
supreme content in her face. 

The gentleman who had entered the ward with 
him now came forward and said : 

"Have you no word for me, Elise?" 

"Father Grey ! Another ! how good God is," 
said she fervently. "Oh! how did you get here? 
and where are the rest?" 



ELISE. 235 

" We must not talk about it to-night," said he ;. 
" I will only tell you that all were saved, picked; 
up by another steamer, and carried to New York. 
Your father met us, and we had to tell him that 
you were lost. When we got word at the college 
that you were here, I lost no time in telling your 
father, and we came on together to capture the 
runaway." 

"Will you tell me one thing, Father? Does papa 
need me? verv much, I mean?" 

"My little daughter," said the Father, "}'ou ma>^ 
be sure he does. I have been at your home, Elise, 
and it is not a happy one. It is ver}' different from 
what I have heard of Regalia. Your mother misses 
her servants and is most unhappy. The boys need 
a sister to keep them off the streets, and Henri, to 
make him go punctually to school. Your father 
needs a little daughter's sympathy, and some one to 
brighten him when he returns to a sad home at night. 
Do you understand me?" 

"Yes, Father," said the child, "I understand." 
She lay still for a moment with her eyes closed, and 
her hands clasped as in prayer, then she spoke 
again: "Father Grey, they were going to bring me my 
Viaticum tomorrow morning. I was anointed to- 
day. Now I want you to persuade the Sister to let 
me go to the Chapel tomorrow for Holy Communion^ 
and I am going to ask the Sacred Heart to cure me, 
for papa, and I will get our Blessed Lady and St. 



236 ELISE. 

Vincent de Paul to pray for me too, and you, dear 
Father, will }'ou not?" 

Her father now returned for the night, and Elise 
sat up in the bed, and putting her arms round his 
neck said : 

"Papa, you are disobedient. 1 want )"ou to go to 
bed ; }'ou need not be'afraid, I am going to get well, 
ind will go back home with }'ou tomorrow." 

The father looked at her in consternation, he 
thought her wandering, and said soothingly : 

"The Sister is willing I should stay with you, 
Elise. I would rather not leave you now I have at 
last found you." 

The thought of how he had found her, and how 
soon he must again lose her, forced a sob from the 
strong man. But the child entreated so earnestly 
that they were obliged to give way to her and he 
allowed P'ather Grey to lead him aw^ay, promising 
to attend mass in the hospital chapel in the morning. 

"Nancy"' called P21ise after they had gone. 
Nancy went to her and found, as she feared, the child 
in great nervous excitement with burning fever. 

"Nanc}/" she whispered, 'T-must get w^ell, papa 
needs me." 

Nancy was silent. 

•"I want the relic of St. Vincent dc Paul. Go now, 
and ask Sister Genevieve." 

Nancy hesitated, but the child was so in earnest 
and excited tliat .<-hc went for Sister Gcnc\ ie\e, who 



ELISE. 



237 



brought the reHc, and hung it around the child's 
neck. Then she insisted on seeing everything she 
needed laid out for the morning, and after this took 
her sedative and went quietl}' to sleep while saying 
her rosary. She slept quietly, until just before mid- 
night, when she woke with a loud cry. The night 
Sister went to her side and found her in such pain 
that she started for the doctor. 

"No, Sister, no," gasped the child, "not the doctor, 
but my bottle of Lourdes water."' 

She had had one presented her some weeks before 
but for some unknown reason had refused to use it. 
The Sister brought the bottle in silence, unsealed and 
drew out the cork. The child drank and then made 
the Sister sponge her with the remainder from head 
to foot. She was immediately relieved, and sank to 
sleep once more, and slept quietly until morning. 




CHAPTER XXI. 



A MIRACLE. 



The next morning, the sun shone brilliantly 
through the stained glass windows of the hospital chap- 
el of the Sisters of Chant3^ It was a pretty chapel, 
by far the finest room in the house. The reredos 
was of dark oak, handsome!}' carved, and reached 
from the altar to the ceiling. The altar also was 
of oak, but the tabernacle was carved from the purest 
white marble with doors of polished brass. In the 
reredos above the tabernacle was a painting of the 
Ascension, our Lord in the act of ascending, with 
His hands stretched out in blessing and with a pit}^- 
ing expression in His eyes, which seemed to say: 

"What can I do for you ; before I am taken away 
from you?" 

The floor of the chapel was tiled in black and 
white marble ; in the sanctuary were some handsome 
rugs spread, to prevent noise and colds. On the 
eastern side of the sanctuary was a large stained 
glass window, representing the Good Shepherd car- 
rying the lamb on His shoulders, through which, as 



ELISE. 239 

we have said, the sun was shining brightly, saucily 
tinting the black cambric caps, with red, blue, and 
yellow, and adding more light to the peaceful faces,, 
which shone already with the light of interior peace. 
The light from the Good Shepherd even streamed 
across and lightened the opposite window, on the west 
side. This was a representation of St. Vincent de 
Paul, holding the little ones in his arms, with others 
grasping his soutane as they stood at his feet, as 
the saint is usually represented. 

The seats for the children were in the eastern 
transept, at right angles with the main body of the 
chapel, raised a little higher than the rest, so that 
they were in full view of the congregation. They 
entered through a side door opening into the tran- 
sept from a corridor connected with the ward, that 
the children might get their places as quickly and 
quietly as possible. It was necessary, for the clatter 
of the crutches and splints re-echoed through the 
chapel. The lame and halt were followed by 
quieter children, and then a wheeled chair on which 
lay our little Elise, supported by pillows. Her 
father was in the main body of the chapel, and gave 
a start of terror when he saw her rolled in. He 
accused the Sisters, in his heart, for great impru- 
dence. She lay on the white pillows, with closed 
eyes, as white as the pillows themselves, but when he 
saw the smile, and that her lips were moving in 
prayer, he was reassured. 



240 ELISE. 

''How imprudent in the Sisters," he mentally ex- 
claimed : "how could they have let her come 
out at this hour; there must be draughts up in that 
place." Then came the mental problem, which he 
knew must be solved. How could he leave his d}-- 
ing child, his heart's best beloved, and yet, what 
would the}" do without him, the bread winner and 
staff on whom all leaned at home? 

He had secured a position as bookkeeper in an 
office down town, but he knew he was likely to lose 
it if his absence was prolonged, and the thought of 
that turned him cold with the knowledge of the con- 
sequences to them who looked to him as their pro- 
vider. 

The priest entered, and he strove to put away his 
distractions, and pray. 

Father Grey celebrated the Mass this morning in 
place of the ordinar}' chaplain, giving Elise his 
intention. He intended to carry the Holy Com- 
munion to Elise after the others had received, but 
to the amazement of all present when the children 
went forward to receive, Elise stood up also, stepped 
from her carriage and went up" with them. 

The Sister in charge of the children started from 
her knees as if to stop her, but as at a signal from 
the Superior, who had been watching the child 
intently, she knelt again and the child went rever- 
entl\- forward with bowed head and clasped hands, 
and knelt down with the others. When she returned 



ELISE. 241 

again from the altar, she did not go back to her chair, 
but knelt in the pew, with the other children, up- 
right, and without support, through the rest of the 
mass. 

The others did not seem to notice her, they were 
v^ery quiet and recollected. The atmosphere was 
redolent with solemn awe and peace ineffable. 

When the children had finished their thanksgiving 
they rose to go out, and Elise walked out with 
them, as demurely and composedly as though noth- 
ing unusual had occurred, until they reached the 
corridor, and the chapel door closed behind them. 
Then she broke ranks, and so excited the others 
that they followed her bad example and all who were 
able flew with her down the long corridor, Elise at the 
head shouting as they ran into the ward : 

"I am cured I I am cured !" 

She was quickl}- followed by the Superior and 
her father who knew not what to expect, but were 
startled and anxious at what they had seen. Elise 
flew into her father's arms crying out : 

"I told you so, papa. God has given me back to 
you. I asked Him to do it, and our Blessed Lady, 
and St. Vincent de Paul asked Him too, and He has 
cured me ; I am well, quite well." 

Dr. Morse followed next, looking rather grim and 
non-committal. He examined her lungs thoroughly, 
and then turned to the father, striking his stethe- 
scope on his knee, as he said emphatically : 



242 ELISE. 

"I can only say, that yesterda}' the child's kings 
were in the last stages of disease, and to-day the\- 
are sound and well." 

"Deo gratias," saici the Superior fervently in a low 
tone, and then added to M. de la Roche. "It is not 
the first time that these things have been sent to us, 
but we find it best to keep very quiet about them." 
Her eyes filled with thankful tears as she spoke and 
she turned awa}^ to go to the chapel there to give 
thanks where they were due. 

The poor father, deathly white, quite dazed and 
bewildered, kept the child close to him as long as 
he could, fearing an illusion and dreading to see her 
break down again ; but she sent him off for his 
breakfast, and to make arrangements for their re- 
turn home. She could hardly be persuaded to take 
her own for she wanted to visit every part of the 
hospital and announce her cure. 

Nancy, not less rejoiced than the child herself, 
went with her and, hand in hand, they went from 
one room to another until every soul in the house 
had offered congratulations to .the dear child, whom 
all had learned to love. 

Toward noon, the chapel bell rang and all hasten- 
ed to offer a solemn "Te Deum" to the Giver of all 
good. The child knelt on a prie-dieu, draped in 
white, in the middle of the Sanctuary. She was 
dressed in plain white, and crowned with a veil, and 
wreath of flowers. She appeared totall)' without 



ELISE. 243 

self-consciousness, with a solemn radiance in her 
face, and downcast eyes : absorbed in prayer. 

After dinner the artist appeared, and was greatly 
surprised that the child had vanished from the ward, 
and must be sought for, in order to see him. 
He gazed at her in amazement and then said to the 
Superior, "a nervous attack; the child has a highly 
susceptible temperament, and has deceived us all. 
The shock of seeing her father has made her all 
right again." 

The Superior smiled, and was silent, and the 
artist continued : "You have spoiled my little 
•Mater Dolorosa.' This child would only ruin my 
picture ; the likeness of the first is gone, and I must 
try to finish without it. What a pity I" He smil- 
ed ruefully at the Superior. "However, I would 
like a second sitting just to contrast the two faces." 

"I am sorry to disappoint you," said the Super- 
ior, "but she leaves us to-night, her father cannot 
remain longer," who could not refrain from smiling 
at the artist's passion, so prevailing over all other 
sentiments. 

He rose, and with a comical smile, took Elise's 
hand and led her outside the ward. When the 
child came back she had some broad gold pieces in 
her hand and going to the Superior she said, shy- 
ly : "He says that this is all mine, and that I have 
earned it, but I'm afraid papa may not like it," she 
added doubtfully. 



244 ELISE, 

"You know that you need some clothing, dear," 
said the Superior cheerfully, "and I think we will 
look on this as sent you for that purpose. Do you 
think it will tire }'ou too much to go out with Sister 
Joseph and Nancy to buy some?" 

Elise had come back to this world sufficiently to 
be delighted with the idea, and so spent the next 
few hours in getting the necessary clothing, and 
buying a gift for each special friend at the hospital, 
and the dear ones at home. Her father was not con- 
sulted in the matter, the Sisters deciding that they 
might rightfully spare him what would cost the 
proud Southerner so much. He had arranged to 
take the night train to New York and so Elise bade 
a tearful "Good-bye" with grateful thanks to the 
Sisters, and her many friends, and at last started 
for the end of her destination. 

Her father was both touched and amused to 
watch the many opportunities she found for ministries 
of mercy and charity ; first, it was a child who had 
fallen and hurt itself, then, an animal, then, a beggar, 
not one could he persuade her to pass without stop- 
ping to give a little consolation, or a few cents with 
which she seemed to have provided herself. He did 
not interfere but allowed her her own way in silence. 
His thoughts were occupied over the home to which 
he u'as taking her, and he was wondering how she 
would bear the change. When she was at last in 
her old place on her father's knee in the spacious 



EI.ISE 245 

Pullman car, she gazed a little while on the land- 
scape through which they were speedint:^, and then 
turning to her father she said : 

" Papa, this is the best part of my journey 
north." 

"You have not told me about it yet, Elise," said 
her father. 

Then Elise began from the time that they had 
parted at the boat landing at Regalia, and told her 
father the history of all her adventures since, and 
he, hardly believing that such things were possible, 
held his breath at parts of her recital, and gave fer- 
vent thanks to Heaven that his darling had escaped 
unscathed. 




CHAPTER XXII. 



NEGLECTED GARDENS. 



When M. de la Roche looked for a home for his 
family, in New York, he was dismayed to see what 
was offered him within a price which was at all in 
proportion to his income. It was impossible to find 
anything, even decent, within the city proper, and 
at the expense of his own comfort, he decided that 
he must take the long ride into the countr}', twice a 
day, in order to give them anything of the comfort 
or privac}' of a home. After a long search, he suc- 
ceeded in securing the lower stor}' of what had 
been once a fine mansion, but was now sinking into 
ruin for want of repairs. 

The owner intended to put up a regular city block, 
when the city grew high enough to make it a de- 
sirable residence, and was now glad to rent it re- 
spectably at a low rent. Ruinous and decayed as 
the old manion was, it had fine grounds attached 
which would give the boys liberty to run without 
going on the street. The upper floor was occupied 



ELISE. 247 

by a Down East Yankee and his wife, who would 
not be troubled either by children of their own, or 
by those of their neighbor. War, in consequence, 
was soon declared. The Jenkyns, as they were 
called, devoted their half of the ground to raising 
fruit and vegetables of the most inviting kind for the 
market, and our little boys, living all day without 
any restraint, frequently invaded their neighbor's 
territory. 

The Jenkyns side of the grounds was a most 
startling contrast to that of the Southerners, which 
was left to grow in utter neglect, with grass and 
weeds knee deep. The interior of the house 
offered the same contrast. No one of the Southerners 
had any idea of housekeeping or how to preserve 
order. M. de la Roche engaged an old woman to 
come daily, but it was little she did, and whenever 
she appeared Madame took refuge on the balcony, 
with her novel. 

The family lived on canned goods, with baker's 
bread, pie and cake, but as the boys ran wild all 
day like little animals, they daily gained in animal 
life in spite of their meagre diet, and as they gained 
physically they also gained in sin. No wonder the 
poor father looked so dispirited and broken-down 
as to bring his child back from heaven. As they 
drew nearer home, he grew sadder and more 
abstracted, at the thought of to what he was carry- 
ing his child. 



248 ELISE. 

The afternoon of the day before the arrival of 
Elise and her father, may serve as a specimen of 
tlie way in which young plants will grow when left 
to themselves untrained and uncultivated. 

It was about four o'clock in the afternoon when 
Henri, in company with his bosom friend, came in 
from a game of ball, tired and heated. Henri gave 
his ball and bat a toss on the lounge, making his 
mother start nervously, and looked about him with a 
discontented air. 

"Oh we're so tired and hot, mamma, may we 
make some lemonade?" 

"Yes, if you like," said Madame abstractedly 
without lifting her eyes. 

"Well, where are the things? I wonder if there 
are any lemons, ice or sugar in the house r" 

'T am sure I don't know, my son, go without, if 
you can't make it w^ithout interrupting me so 
much." 

"I thought so," said Henri, opening the side 
board door and holding up a very imin\'iting-look- 
ing sugar bowl. "Those little rascals have emptied 
everything, as usual, and it's too hot to go out for 
more. Hulloa I what's this?" 

"Oh ! yes," said Madame, languidly, "that.telegram 
came this morning, your papa is coming tomorrow, 
he might have had sufficient consideration to have 
come to-day, if he had remembered my unprotected 
position." 



ELISE. 249 

She wiped her eyes, but was prevented from more 
tears, by pierciiifr shrieks coming in the back win- 
dows from the garden. They all ran out on the 
balcony, which overlooked the garden, and saw Mr. 
Jenkyns, stern and determined, standing at the end 
of his chief garden walk, with his legs spread wide 
apart to prevent the two little lads' egress, and 
flourishing a strap in his hand. 

"I've got 3'e now, yer young sarpints," shouted 
Mr. Jenk}-ns, "come here now, and git your desarts." 

"Henri I oh, Henri I" shrieked Madame ! "save 
\'Our little brothers from that cruel man." 

"Nonsense, mamma!" said Henri, "he won't hurt 
them, and I don't wonder that he don't want his 
garden destro\'ed, I onh- hope he'll lick 'em well." 

" You unnatural brother," sobbed his mother, " if 
you are afraid, run for the police." 

The twins were a subject for a picture, as the two 
hung back together, at the end of the path, with 
feet, hands, and faces stained with fruit ; bare- 
legged, and ragged, with long unkempt hair, look- 
ing so exactly alike, that it was impossible to 
distinguish one from the other. One of them hugged 
a little black kitten to his breast, which looked like a 
veritable witch's cat, perfectly black, .without a 
single white hair, and each hair standing in a 
different direction, with green eyes, which glowed 
like living coals. 

There was a pause, neither side liking to lead the 



250 ELISE. 

attack, Mr. Jenkyns fearing if he left his post at 
the end of the path, that he would lose his prey, and 
the twins uncertain what was the best manner of 
eluding the enemy. 

There was a rapid exchange of glances between 
the two, a little nod, and then the foremost one 
dropped his head, and made a rush between the 
legs of the astonished Mr. Jenk3nis knocking him 
completely down, rapidly followed by number two, 
who jumped over poor Mr. Jenkyns' prostrate form. 
They then flew around the corner of the house, and 
disappeared. Mr. Jenkyns gathered himself up, 
amid the shouts and laughter of the two older lads, 
and the derisive laugh of his wife, Jerusha, who had 
been watching the battle from an upper window. 
Madame did not smile, but with her head high 
in the air, disappeared inside, while Mr. Jenkyns, 
interiorly resolving to be even with them yet, went 
into the garden to repair damages. 

"Come, Hen," said his school friend, "let's have 
a swim." 

"All right," said Henri, "come on." 

There was a brook which ran down the hill near 
the "house, and emptied itself in the Hudson. It was 
a never ending delight to the lads, and M. de la 
Roche had encouraged them in building a swiming 
bath there, to keep them from the dangerous river. 
They had dug out quite a deep pool, and dammed 
up the brook to fill it ; then they built a sort of rough 



ELISE. 251 

shantee over it, to answer the purpose of a bathing 
house ; sawing out two square holes, near the roof, 
for the purpose of letting in light and air. Henri 
had affixed a padlock, of which he kept the key, to 
the door of the house, averring that it was too deep 
for the twins, and that they would get drowned. 
This caused perpetual rebellion on the part of these 
young men, and they had really become the tor- 
ment of everyone about them, giving obedience to 
their father only, of whom they stood in some awe. 

The two school boys were having a grand swim- 
ing exercise, when the window over them was 
suddenly darkened, and the little black kitten de- 
scended suddenly on Henri's back, sticking her 
claws deeply in, mewing and spitting at a great rate, 
and then leaping off into the pool, she swam rapidly 
round, and finally flew off out of the building, out 
the opening at the bottom. 

" By George ! " said Henri excitedh', rubbing his 
scratches, "those horrid little rats; let them look 
out for themselves, they shall smart for this." 

"I never knew before that cats could swim so, did 
you, Henri?" said the friend, recovering himself with 
great difficulty from the shock, and trying to look 
sober. 

" No," said Henri, " I wonder they don't go in 
swimming oftener, but I hope they don't take my 
back to dive from." 

The boys decided they had better leaxe, before a 



252 ELISE. 

worse thing came through the window. They 
dressed themselves, and went up again to the house. 

''Come up to my room," said Henri, "I've got 
the stunningest red necktie }-ou e\'er saw, that I 
want to show you." 

They were ascending the steps of tlie back piazza, 
.as he spoke. 

'He wears it \\hcn Miss PoUard comes," sang out 
a high nasal tone over their heads. They looked up 
and there curled up on the rafters of the open roof, 
were the twins, and the inevitable Mack kitten grin- 
ning down upon them. 

"Never you mind, }-oung men, )-ou and I will 
settle scores before }-ou sleep to-night," said Henri 
■vindictively. 

The twins were remarkabl}- .silent, and Henri led 
tthe way to his room. When he opened his door the 
iboys both started back for an instant, in dismay. 
The room had been made very dark. A kerosene 
lamp lighted and placed on the i\oor shed a dim 
light upon an awful image. It was dressed chiefly 
in white, with outstretched arms and reached nearl}' 
to the ceiling. 

After the first start, Henri ran in, threw open the 
-shutters, and drew up the shades, letting out the 
stifling odor of the kerosene, and in, the light and 
air. 

The figure was formed of Henri's sheets and 
pillows, pinned and tied on umbrellas and brooms 



ELISE. 253 

in every imaginable manner and, alas, decked out with 
all Henri's most treasured articles of toilette. He 
had reached the age now ^\•hen these things were 
matters of very great importance in his eves, and 
was over careful and orderh' in his person. It 
really was, then, a great trial to the lad, and added 
another to the long score he was resolving to settle 
with his little brothers. His friend sympathized 
with him as they replaced the things and put the 
room in order, they discussed earnestly what should 
be done to reduce these wild Indians to order. 

"There's no use in telling, for there's nobod}' who 
can manage them, but father, and I don't want to 
bother him, and besides it's a beastly mean thing to 
do, and it's a shame if I can't manage those little 
toads myself." 

The room now straightened, Henri wished to 
show his friend his most valued treasure, a histor}- 
of the war, which he was compiling with the 
assistance, and under the direction of his friend. Dr. 
Mays. They went into the famih' living room, and 
Henri drew the neat volume from his father's desk, 
and opened it with some pride. It was of white 
unruled paper and was written in Henri's neatest 
hand, not a blot or erasure in it. 

"You see," said Henri, as he unfolded it to his 
friend's admiring gaze, "the little rascals don't dare to 
touch father's desk and it's the only place in New 
York Cit\-, where I could keep it safe from them.'* 



254 ELISE. 

There was a stifled giggle from the balcony ; their 
the black kitten shot once more through the air, and 
descended on the desk before them, spitting, with 
her fur distended and tail high in the air: before 
the boys could prevent it. she had stuck her paw in 
the ink bottle, and then on the beautiful fair page of 
the history, as she flew across the desk and out the. 
window. 

Poor Henri, he was too full of grief to sa)' a word,, 
and choked with repressed tears, he gazed on the 
inky foot tracks which had ruined so many hours of 
patient work. 

'•It's too bad. Hen ; indeed it's too bad," said his- 
friend, "but I think }'ou could cut out these two pages 
so it would never show. 1 never knew such tricky 
little fellows." 

"I believe that's a real witch cat. I never knew the 
like of her," said Henri, recovering himself. 

"It's a beautiful book," said his friend. "I never 
saw a nicer one. Do you think you could help me 
make one?" 

"Oh yes!" said Henri, pleased at his friend's 
praises, "it's eas}^ enough, I'll show you anytime." 

"All right, then, I'll ask father about it. I must 
go now, but I really think somebody ought to lick 
those boys." 

"And somebody will," said Henri griml}'. 

After his friend had gone, he carefully dried the 
book with a blotter, closed it, and put it back in the 



ELISE. 255 

desk. He then walked out on the balcony, with 
a determined air and step quite dififerent from' 
his usual good-natured, eas3'-going manner, and 
looked up and down the yard : there was no one in 
sight, and he was about turning to go in, when he 
heard, over his head, another repressed " he I he I 
he I " and looking up, he saw the lads still on the 
rafters overhead. 

"Comeout of that, now," said Henri, sharply, "it's 
time you and I had a reckoning."' 

" 'Come here little ducklings, come here and be killed, 
For you must be stuffed, and mv customers filled.' " 

sang one of the little fellows saucily. 

"Very well," said Henri, "take your own time 
about it," and he walked into the room and came 
out again, with a chair and book, and seating him- 
self, began to read. 

This was a turn of affairs of which the twins did 
not approve. Nearly an hour went by, and Henri 
showed no sign of relenting. 

"I say. Hen," said a voice overhead, "let us oft" 
this time, and we'll tell )-ou where Dougherty hides 
the gingerbread." 

No response. 

Mrs. Dougherty appeared, and announced that 
supper was ready, and then disappeared again, but 
Henri never stirred. 

"I say, Tom," said one little lad to the other, " did 



256 ELISE. 

you hear what that Pollard girl said about Hen last 
time she came up to see the Jenk3'ns?" 

"No, what was it?" said he. 

Tliere was much whispering and giggling between 
the two, and Henri was observed to prick up his 
ears slightly. 

"I say, Hen, let us off just this time. Elise and 
papa are coming tomorrow, and we are going out 
to-night to get our hair cut, and tomorrow we'll 
begin to go to school, and be good and won't plague 
you any more, 'honest Injun,' and we'll tell \'ou what 
Miss Pollard said, besides." 

"Well," said the good-natured elder brother, "but 
remember this is the last time. The very next trick 
you pla}' on any body, you shall smart for it. What 
did Miss Pollard say ?" he asked rather sheepishh', 
as the twins slid past him through the long French 
window. 

"She said you were nothing but a Blaisted 
Britisher, with nigger blood in }'our veins," laughed 
the bo}^ 

"She never said it," said Henri striding for\\ard, 
-and catching the little brother by the ear. 

"Oh, boys," groaned Madame, "you arc so noisy, 
and m\^ head aches so badly." 

"Here," shrieked the lad, "let me alone, you 
promised you know." 

"Tell me the truth then." said Henri. 

"Let mc alone, and I will." 



ELISE. 257 

Henri dropped the ear, and the lad taking hold of 
the sides of his pants lifted them, as though they 
were skirts, and walked across the room saying in a 
most affected tone and manner : 

" What a distinguished air Mr. Rocks has orot, 
Jerushy." 

There was a general laugh, in which even the 
poor mother joined, but added : 

"What dirty boys, can't you wash yourselves, be- 
fore coming to the table?" 

The boys were about to seat themselves, coolly, 
paying no attention to her: but Henri said threaten- 
ingly : 

"Go, and make yourselves decent, if you can." 

"We're no dudes like you," said Tom. 

They obeyed for once, and soon came with a 
small circle around their mouths clean, seated them- 
selves at the table, and peace was restored. 




CHAPTER XXIII. 

THE HOME. 

M. DE LA Roche and Elise reached Jersey City 
1n the earl}^ morning. EHse was delighted at the 
life and glitter of the beautiful New York Bay and 
her natural 'expressions of delight drew many ad- 
miring eyes on the pretty child. The freshness of 
the salty breeze blowing off the ocean was indeed 
grateful, after the stuffy sleeping cars, and both were 
sorry to leave the boat for the close hot city the 
smell of which was any thing but grateful to the 
senses. When they reached the other side of the 
ferry the}^ took the Eighth Avenue horse car for up- 
town. There was no Elevated Road in those days 
audit was more than an hour's ride to One Hundredth 
Street then. 

"Doesn't it seem like another world, papa?" said 
Elise, as she looked, with repugnance, around the 
dirty car. 

The father smiled sadl)', as he thought how much 
greater a change the child might find in the home, 
to which he was taking her. As they drew near 



ELISE. 259 

the end of their journey, he turned to Elise, with a 
look of anxiety, hesitated a little, and then said : 

" My daughter you know, " 

"Yes, papa, I know," said Elise interrupting him, 
and the mute pressure of the little hand on his was 
sufficient; no more need be said. 

When they reached the house, neglect was visible 
everywhere. The front gate was off its hinges, the 
path up to the front door, which wound through the 
shrubbery and under the trees had once been beau- 
tiful but was now thick with weeds, the broad 
portico in front of the house was strewn with the 
boys' play things and various portions of their ward- 
robe. In the front hall were still to be seen the 
packing cases and straw in which various purchases 
had arrived. It was a grand, broad hall, with tiled 
floor, running directly through the house, with 
large glass- doors at both ends. A winding stair- 
case of carved mahogany, which should have been 
polished, but was dull with scrubbing, led to the 
floor above. 

A tall, lanky woman dressed in the plainest and 
scantiest of bright calico dresses, protected by a 
long linen working apron, was scrubbing down 
these stairs, with a scrubbing brush, soap, and hot 
water. She stopped at seeing M. de la Roche and 
Elise enter, and rose to her feet. Elise noticed as she 
came forward to greet them how spotlessly clean 
she looked. 



26o KLISE. 

"■Mornin', Mr. Rocks," she said, in very positive 
tones, "You're heartily welcome I'm sure. We 
rather expected you yesterday. Mrs. Rocks she 
fretted considerbul until night, and then she got so all 
tired mad with him, that it did her lots of good. Is 
this your little gal you brought along with )-er? Wal 
aint she as pretty as a picter?" 

"What was the matter," said M. dc la Roche, 
sharply, trying to speak pleasantly and not show his 
annoyance. 

"Wal yer see them little fellers of \-ourn, they got 
into his garden patch, and they trampled down the 
cowcumber vines considerbul, an' pulled off a lot of 
green pears, that he sot out a store by, and they 
wa'nt near ready for pullin" neither. So he got out 
a strap to hit 'em a little an' scare 'em but he 
wouldn't hurt 'em none, not fer all creation, an' ef 
you'll believe it them little fellers floored him, they 
are the cutest. Miss Rocks came prett}' nigh gittin' 
the high strikes and tried to send Henri off for the 
perlice but there the boy has too much sense for 
that. I prevailed on her to wait fer you to settle 
it, an' I guess she feels better to-day. I sent her a 
basket of garden sass, but there, she could no more 
cook it than a baby, and Miss Dougherty's too lazy. 
Now this little lady looks as though she would 
make a right smart housekeeper, hey ! " 

"I want to learn," said Klise, looking earnestly. 
"Will you teach me?" 



ELISE. 261 

"Guess I will, indeed, and you'll soon beat me all 
holler. Ain't she the cute lady?" said Airs. 
Jehkyns, looking at her admiringly. "She'll soon 
show vou a different home, sir, but them little young- 
sters of yourn, if the devil don't ketch them, we might 
as good hev no devil at all. Now this is one of the 
right sort, without a thread of shiftlessness in her." 
Here the sharp eves scanned Elise approvingly. 

M. de la Roche bowed rather stiffly and moved 
on. This woman was a perpetual thorn in his side, 
constantly reminding him of his loss of position. 
Was it not after all a Quixotic idea? Was it worth 
while, he sometimes asked himself, bitterly, to suf- 
fer so much for his principles, and above all to 
bring such suffering on his family, and, as it looked 
now, the loss of his boys' souls. They were grow- 
ing, like rank weeds, stronger in evil dav b}- dav. 
Had God forgotten that it was all for Him that he 
had given up his home and fled into this strange 
land ? 

He drew Elise along the hall with a clouded face, 
and opened a door leading from the hall into what 
had once been the drawing-room of the old mansion. 
Elise sprang in to greet the dear ones and then paused 
and looked round her with dismay. Dirt and 
disorder reigned supreme. Who was that sitting in 
a low chair near the front window so absorbed in 
her books that she heard nothing at all of what was 
going on around her? Could that untid}-, neglected 



202 ELISE. 

little woman with soiled, ragged dress and unkempt 
hair be the mother of whom they were so proud? 
Could two short months ha\e made such a change? 
She looked an instant in dismay, and then flew 
to clasp her arms about her mother's neck, and gave 
her a hearty hug and kiss. 

The mother roused herself with some difficulty, 
looked around bewildered and confused, as she 
jumped hastily up, saying : 

"Why, Elise, is this you at last? How rough you 
are, child. Where have you been all this time? Oh, 
Henri I how could you stay away so long and lea\e 
us alone? Elise could surely have finished her 
journc}' without taking )'ou away, and leaving us at 
the mercy of those dreadful creatures." 

Here she burst into tears, and sobbed violently, 
as she added between her sobs, " Our lives have 
been in constant danger and I have nearly died from 
fear. What would my poor parents say if they 
knew to what I and my children have been brought? 
Yes ; they are whipped like slaves by these coward- 
ly Yankees." 

She petulantly pushed off "Elise, who strove 
to comfort her, and clung, sobbing, to her 
husband. The poor child, thus repulsed, walked 
to the back of the room to hide her grief, and 
looked out the window with a swelling heart, but 
her feelings were instantly changed to a joyful sur- 
prise at the sight which was s[)read out before her, 



ELISE. 263 

and her exclamations of delight drew her parents to 
her side. 

There were two long double French windows at 
that side of the room, which led out on a balcony at 
the back of the house, and the three passed out 
through one, on the balcony. There before them 
rolled the broad, noble Hudson, grand in its calm, 
peaceful repose. In the distance as far up as they 
could see, were the Palisades, grim and fortress like. 
The river was dotted here and there with the white 
sails of \'achts and fishing boats. The view extend- 
ed up the river some three or four miles, until lost 
in distant haze. "Oh, how beautiful ! how beauti- 
ful !"' exclaimed Elise clasping her hands in ecstasy. 
An excursion steamer with a band playing just then 
swept by reminding Elise forcibly of that other scene 
not long ago, on the bosom of that yet broader river 
in the sunny south. Turning to her mother she put 
her arm genth' around her as she told her the story 
of poor Jacques, both were weeping, but with gentle 
tears, before she had finished, and there was formed 
a new tie between them ; a bond of sympathy 
that had never existed before. 

"I am a selfish wife and mother, Henri, I know," 
said the poor little woman, " and I have never been 
taught how to do any better, but Elise has suddenly 
grown from a child to a woman, and is going to be 
our great comfort, I am sure." 

" She has certainly grown many years in two 



264 ELISE. 

months," said her father gazing at her fondly, "and 
is going to be your right hand in defence, dear, 
against the wiles of the enem}-." 

"Yen need not laugh at me Henri," said his wife, 
with a sigh, "I'm sure I need it," but she was inter- 
rupted by a loud whoop as the three boys came tear- 
ing up the steps to see their sister ; there were great 
rejoicings and embracings at seeing the travellers, 
above all the dear sister whom they had mourned 
as dead. The father could not find it in his heart 
to call his naughty boys to account, on his first 
return home, for their delinquencies but hoped for 
much, through their sister's influence. 

The express man arrived just then with Elise's 
trunk, and there was another joyous excitement in 
opening it, and giving out presents. When these 
were distributed and duly admired, Elise caused an 
immense sensation by taking out a large working 
apron and enveloping herself in it, with an air of 
dignified authority. She began to do her best to 
get the place in some kind of order and to help Mrs. 
Dougherty to get the dinner. 'The boys tried to 
help, and Mrs. Dougherty was inspired to do her 
best. It was, after all, a poor attempt, but the rooms 
soon began to wear a different aspect, and the boys 
were immensely interested. 

That evening, after she had coaxed the twins to 
bed with the promise of a splendid story, she stole 
out on the balcony to find her father. It was a 



ELISE. 265 

lovely moonlight night, and M. de la Roche was 
enjoying the luxury of the one cigar he allowed 
himself daily. 

His wife and Henri were at their books inside, 
when he felt a little arm steal around his neck. He 
turned and drew his little daughter down on his knee 
and they sat some time gazing at the fair scene 
before them in silence. Finally Elise said with 
some little effort: 

"Papa, I told our dear Lord that morning of my 
Mass, at the hospital, that if He would cure me, and 
make my life a comfort and blessing to you, that I 
would give my life to His service as long as I lived : 
for you know, papa, that as it was given back to me 
I was bound to do something in return, I mean even 
more than ordinary, eh?" 

"Yes, daughter, what will you do for Him?" 

"Well, papa, one day when Sister Genevieve was 
giving us a Catechism lesson, not to me, but to the 
children who were up, I was feeling too ill to listen, 
until she began telling them a story, and then I 
listened to every word. She said : 

" ' Once upon a time, there was a Sister of 
Charity, who lived in New York. She was young and 
very happy, her work was to visit among the poor 
and sick and try to relieve their wants. The Sister 
was very happy because she was so good. She 
thought her life could hardly be happier in Heaven, 
except for the suffering she saw around her. Well, 



266 ELISE. 

one day the Sister-Servant sent for her to come to 
her room. She went and found the Sister-Servant 
talking with the Chaphiin. When this little Sister 
came in, the Sister-Ser\'ant turned to her, and said : 
' Sister, you remember hoA\ nnich love our founder 
St. Vincent de Paul, had for the little foundlings? 
Now we want you to begin a Foundling Asylum.' 

"You know, papa, a foundling is a little baby 
wdiom its mother does not love or care for." 

"This little Sister thought that the Sister-Servant 
had gone crazy, and she said : 

" 'But my Sister, I have no money, and no abil- 
ity to begin the work."" 

" 'That is true,' " said the Sister-Servant, " 'but 
if the work is God's, He will furnish both the money 
and the abilities.' 

"So they went to work in f^iith, and the little 
Sister told our dear Lord ; if He would be pleased 
to bless and prosper the work, that she would never 
refuse anyone who asked charity of her, and she 
never has. Now, many thousands of souls look to 
her for aid, and thousands have had the grace of 
baptism, who could not have had it, but for the 
Asylum." 

"I thought, papa, that was a beautiful promise to 
the dear Lord, Whose dying words were: 'Love one 
another,' so I made it mine, and God has accepted 
it, papa, for you see He has cured me." 

" May He bless you dear and give you grace to 



ELISE. 267 

keep it faithfull}'. You will have plenty of calls for 
it," he said with a sigh. 

"Guess yer haint made no cal'lations fer }^er little 
gal to sleep, hev }'er?" said a shrill voice behind 
them. 

The father started, aud looked at Elise question- 
ingl}'. 

' "jNI}- child," he said, "I verily believe there is not 
a bed for 3'ou in the house." 

Oh, never mind, papa," said Elise, "I can find a 
phice, I can sleep anywhere."' 

"Now there's my hall bedroom, she kin hev it 
just as well as not. I'd jist love to hev her there, till 
you kin tix a place fer her, but 'taint no ways safeto 
allow her out doors in the night air, she's sure to 
kitch the fever. I tell him I won't allow him to sit 
out after the sun goes down, noways and nohow." 

So it was arranged. Mrs. Jenkyns and Elise soon 
became firm friends, and the child with a will to do 
it, and so good a teacher, became a famous house- 
keeper. She had, of course, times of discouragement, 
but she kept on steadily, nexer failing in her resolu- 
tion. 

In this she was greatly helped by her firm friend 
and confessor. Father Gre}\ When the time came 
that she could once more return to Regalia, she was 
not sorr}" for the trials she had gone through for she 
knew they had formed and made her a " Tool meet 
for the Master's use." 



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